The most captivating novel of 2019
‘Utterly brilliant’ Joanna Cannon
‘Truly spellbinding’ Guardian
‘Pure magic’ Erin Kelly
‘A real treat’ The Times
‘Gorgeous' Stella Duffy
‘Astounding’ Anna Mazzola
Imagine you could erase your grief.
Imagine you could forget your pain.
Imagine you could hide a secret.
Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a letter arrives summoning him to begin an apprenticeship. He will work for a Bookbinder, a vocation that arouses fear, superstition and prejudice – but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.
He will learn to hand-craft beautiful volumes, and within each he will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, he can help. If there’s something you need to erase, he can assist. Your past will be stored safely in a book and you will never remember your secret, however terrible.
In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, row upon row of books – and memories – are meticulously stored and recorded.
Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of them has his name on it.
THE BINDING is an unforgettable, magical novel: a boundary-defying love story and a unique literary event.
‘The Binding is a dark chocolate slice of cake with a surprising, satisfying seam of raspberry running through it. It is a rich, gothic entertainment that explores what books have trapped in them and reminds us of the power of storytelling. Spellbinding’ Tracy Chevalier
‘Truly spellbinding … readers will sink gratefully into the pleasures of its pages … Like a wonderful meal made from a few simple ingredients: the feeling in your chest when you hold someone in your arms for the first time; the sight of a host of bluebells. In recent years, the state of the world has threatened to make us forget the simple pleasures of kisses and bluebells and thick novels that tell stories of heartbreak. Here is a book to help us remember’ Guardian
‘Intense, immersive … A stirring, highly original piece of storytelling and world-making’ Sunday Times
‘With a twisting narrative that explores humans’ darkest moments and morals, Collins has created a fascinating fantasy world that evokes the atmosphere of Sarah Waters’ books with a nod to Philip Pullman. And, with a love story holding much of the story’s emotion together, this is definitely a book you’ll want to lose yourself to for hours on end’ Stylist
‘Part fantasy, part faux-history, part heart-in-your throat love story, it’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets The Miniaturist’ Grazia
‘More of an experience than a book, written with such grace and wisdom. Utterly brilliant’ Joanna Cannon, author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep
‘Pure magic. The kind of immersive storytelling that makes you forget your own name. I wish I had written it’ Erin Kelly, author of He Said/She Said
‘An original concept, beautifully written. Collins’ prose is spellbinding’ Laura Purcell, author of The Silent Companions
‘A real treat … gothic, imaginative and dark’ The Times
‘Beguiling … Dark and atmospheric’ i Paper
‘Vivid … magic’ Naomi Novik, New York Times
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Beautifully imagined with sumptuous descriptive passages, The Binding follows young Emmett Farmer on an adventure of epic proportions. Training to become a mystical Bookbinder, Emmett learns to bind, protect and even erase people’s memories. Within this bombastic coming-of-age story, we encounter forbidden love, dark secrets and rows upon rows of dusty leather-bound books. Emmett’s sacred calling has an alluring whiff of Harry Potter’s own magical destiny—and we think Hogwarts fans will love this gloriously mysterious world.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Fooled me once
I enjoyed reading this, it’s not the kind of book I would normally pick but thanks to the shameless name dropping of Harry Potter in the apple review, I did and blindly.
The story focuses more on forbidden romance and the magic sort of takes a back seat to that.
So read the rest of the reviews but ignore the Harry Potter comment or you’ll be disappointed.
A book you think about after you put it down
I enjoyed this book. Good length, I hate it when books are obviously stripped of their descriptive pages from the editors.
I loved the differing perspectives and narration as it gave you a more in depth knowledge of the characters and their story.
I don’t think there is any comparison to Harry Potter and not sure why that is referenced in the blurb but not disappointed either.
Beautiful heart wrenching story!
Please read this with an open mind and heart.
It is a love story in a slightly fantasy world circa the late 1800’s. The act of binding, to forget one’s memories, is a practice in morals and ethics rather than a trade of praise though so few can be binders. The love story is unexpected, but very powerful. I don’t want to spoil too much. Emmett is a darling in my opinion, and Lucian is kind, but too scared to show it. I think he found his way eventually! Just- ugh- read it for yourself! So many surprises and it all really came full circle.
Please read this it is worth it!