The Binding by Bridget Collins is a stand alone novel. Going forward with this review, I am going to assume you have either read the previous book, or my review for that book. I was drawn to this book by its cover art at a local book store and was intrigued about the binding aspect of the story. Like always, I will not have any spoilers for The Binding. Let me reassure you that this book is in fact NOT written for younger readers. This book was written for an ADULT audience, regardless if you find it in the YA section at your local book store.
Books are dangerous objects. Book binder’s are people who are visited by those wishing to rid themselves of painful and horrible memories. Once they tell their stories, those memories are bound into a book where they cannot harm the individual any longer. Their slates are wiped clean.
When Emmet Farmer is unable to complete his farm chores due to some kind of mental collapse, he is sent away to a workshop to be one of these binder’s apprentice. Since leaving his home and family, Emmet learns the binding trade and slowly gets healthier. However, Emmet is banned from the locked room where the books are kept, and focuses on learning binding skills. However, Emmet’s curiosity increases with each person who visits the binder. Even more so when Lord Lucian Darnay arrives, who Emmet feels an instant connection to, and everything changes.
So, it’s been a little over a month from when I finished reading The Binding and writing this review. There are many reasons for this. First there’s my mental health and I just had to step away from being on the computer all the time. Second, life got super busy and I couldn’t help but keep reading without writing reviews immediately afterwards. Therefore this review will not be as detailed as reviews I’ve previously posted. I will have this paragraph at the beginning of the reviews that weren’t written immediately after finishing them.
In The Binding, there are three prominent characters, but two of them are narrators. These characters are Emmet and Alta Farmer, and Lucian Darnay. Emmet and Lucian are narrators. Now Emmet and Alta are siblings that live on a farm and have very little. While Lucian is the son of a Lord that’s sent to his uncle’s country estate as punishment. From the beginning, these three have a rocky and unusual friendship. At different times, at least one person is unhappy and dislikes someone in the group. However, there’s undeniable chemistry and loyalty there.
The way that The Binding is structured is a bit weird. The best way I can describe it is the time line starts in the present with Emmet as narrator and then switches to a flashback to before Emmet got sick. After the flashback is over, the story comes back to the present with Lucian as the narrator. If you don’t realize right away that there’s a flashback, you may get confused and have to reread sections. The Binding is very enjoyable in unexpected ways. I would expect more about the act of binding, but the main focus is on the romance. Despite this, I enjoy the story The Binding tells.
“May your darkness be quiet and the light come sooner than you need.”
“That’s the power of words; twenty six little letter can paint a whole universe.”
“Why am I so happy? Because of the colours. Because the drab wintry world is so bright I can hardly bear it.”
“Maybe I should have followed him; but somehow it went from too soon to too late, without the right moment in between.”
“Under everything is happiness so deep and rich it’s like dark wet earth. I don’t know what it means. I don’t know why it’s there. But I could reach out and grab a fistful of it.”
Star Rating: /5
Add it to Your List: Add to your Goodreads
Snag a Copy: I will always suggest getting the hard cover, but buy in any format on Amazon
Interested in other books that I’ve read? Check out my other book reviews here!