#bookreview The Binding by Bridget Collins published by The Borough Press

Bookseller synopsis:

Imagine you could erase grief.
Imagine you could remove pain.
Imagine you could hide the darkest, most horrifying secret.
Forever.

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 amongst 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.

My reading experience:

I had waited for this book. By that I mean I had eagerly acquired it, and then let it sit on my book case, settling. Often I just admired it. Once I had read it, I was not disappointed.

A very easy to read, compelling story by Bridget Collins, I found the characters and their lives immersive and evoking which was due to the well written prose. Seredith weaves the bookbinding magic thread throughout this tale and the reader is drawn to the secrets of bookbinding along with Emmett.

I highly recommend this page turner and look forward to reading The Betrayals by this author.

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