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Book Review: 'The Binding'

Sadie Quimby

Posted on October 17, 2020 04:21

3 users

If you're looking for a fantasy novel about the power of books, look no further.

A quick trigger warning: the review is safe but this book contains mentions of sexual abuse, so feel free to skip it if you need to.

The Binding by Bridget Collins, is a unique fantasy. Normally, I'm not a huge fan of fantasy, but this is a fantasy that explores a fantastic premise: in this world, books are feared by society, and reading them is socially unacceptable.

Young Emmett Farmer (he's, surprise, a farmer!) is apprenticed to an old bookbinder against his will after a long period of illness. Emmett seems pretty uninteresting at the start of the book but as time goes on he reveals himself to be a bit of a sassy delinquent sometimes, which makes him considerably more entertaining.

After a long period of suspense, it's revealed that books are made to make people forget the things they can't bear to remember. When someone is bound by a bookbinder, their unwanted memories become the story that's made into a book. After, they will have no memory that they were even bound, and the memories will stay locked up forever, with one exception.

The Binding moves at a slow pace, taking the time to make detailed descriptions of everyday routines. If you need a book that hooks you right away, you might want to skip this book. Personally, I found it to be relaxing how everything was described with such care: because of the extra description, I could imagine the story so clearly in my head. The Binding revels in suspense, slowly revealing more of its secrets until the moment everything hits the fan.

I first read this book a year ago, and reread it recently. Mostly, I reread it because of the interesting way the plot is crafted. I knew reading it a second time would be an entirely different experience than the first time. And it was: knowing everything I wasn't aware of the first time, I could see the story in a whole new light. I don't think this is a book for everyone, but give it a shot if you're interested, because the story is truly unique. 

Sadie Quimby

Posted on October 17, 2020 04:21

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Source: The Guardian

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