A My Chronicle Book Box review: The Binding by Bridget Collins
This is a magical, emotional book in which books and book binders have a darker purpose to take away memories and bind them within their pages.
This book was included in our February 2019 Science Fiction & Fantasy box.
Read on for the full My Chronicle Book Box review...
My Chronicle Book Box Review: Louise's thoughts...
I was lucky enough to read an early advanced edition of this book before much had been advertised about it and I was not sure what to expect. In this universe created by Bridget books are bound memories donated by people for all sorts of reasons. The book explores the consequences of being able to wipe your mind of bad memories and have them bound and locked away in a book. It is also a touching love story and the personal journey of Emmett Farmer.
The book feels very intimate as it is written in the first person and follows the story of Emmett in his apprenticeship in the secretive and feared trade of book binding. As Emmett learns more about book binding he struggles with questions about the morality of book binding and his developing relationship with the other main character, Lucian. Then Emmett discovers one of the books stored by his mentor has his own name on it; his own memory has been bound.
I don't want to give too much away about the plot, but this book really got me thinking and feeling very emotional. Go into it with an open-mind and an open-heart and I think this book will break your heart in the best possible way!
Publisher: The Borough Press
Publication date: 10 January 2019
Imagine you could erase grief.
Imagine you could remove pain.
Imagine you could hide the darkest, most horrifying secret.
Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder—a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice among their small community but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.
For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to hand-craft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed and the past is locked away. In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, rows upon rows of books are meticulously stored.
But while Seredith is an artisan, there are others of their kind, avaricious and amoral tradesman who use their talents for dark ends—and just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: one of the books has his name on it. Soon, everything he thought he understood about his life will be dramatically rewritten.
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