The Binding

The Binding

A Novel

Book - 2019
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"In the tradition of Sarah Waters, Helene Wecker, and Jessie Burton, an atmospheric and mystery-laden historical novel set within a magical world where books are not stories but the repository of individual lives. 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. An unforgettable novel of enchantment, mystery, memory, and forbidden love, The Binding is a beautiful homage to the allure and life-changing power of books--and a reminder to us all that knowledge can be its own kind of magic."--
Publisher: New York, NY :, William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, [2019]
Edition: First U.S. edition.
ISBN: 9780062838094
Branch Call Number: FIC COLL
Characteristics: 435 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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Jun 07, 2019

DNF @ 30%
(Review Not on Blog)

This novel was a bit painful to read and not based on subject matter but because of the writing. I found that my mind either wandered and I could not remember what I last read, or I found myself forcing myself to reread passages. I then decided to try the audiobook and I was able to make it to 30% before I realized I have no investment in the story or the characters. I am giving up on this one.

***I received an eARC from EDELWEISS***

LPL_LeahN May 18, 2019

Imagine a world where our secrets and memories, good and bad, are taken from us and bound into books. We can choose to be bound and forget. For love, or for money, or just for the sake of forgetting our pain. But there's always a cost.

This book is kind of dark and brooding, but the premise is so compelling. I feel like the author could write an entire series about bookbinders, and I would gobble them up, too. It's very descriptively written and includes a beautiful romance.

Apr 08, 2019

I thoroughly enjoyed this. It is a mix between historical fiction and folklore and was fresh and well written. I especially loved the subtle sense of dread throughout the novel which made you feel as if something bad was going to happen any minute. It takes place in a world that uses a process called binding to erase certain memories from a person's mind which is then stored in a book. You may find it a bit slow to start but it doesn't take long to get wrapped up in the character's lives.


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