The Binding by Bridget Collins

Published UK: 10 January 2019


Book blurb

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.

My thoughts

I was drawn to this book as being a book lover reading about the making of books is a joy and even more so when a mystery is attached – can you think of anything better? Of course not!

Bookbinding the actual putting together of books is explored in a fascinating way through this story. This is no handbook on the making of books, although there are snippets, rather this is about the gathering of the content, the story.

As we meet and come to know Emmett the mystery unravels. It is indeed more than one mystery – how is the story gathered and what has happened to Emmett? He has been ill and isn’t as strong as he was and so cannot work in the fields as well as he did anymore but when he overhears his parents arguing one day he realises he is being sent away. So begins his work in bookbinding. He becomes apprenticed and his mentor slowly introduces him to his new life.  We know that there is something about Emmett that meant he was bound to be a bookbinder. As this intriguing story gently unfolds you are drawn in more and more. It is when his mentor becomes ill that the story really gets going and when we get to the section, which is almost a prologue, you really start to grasp what has happened and become totally gripped.

Bridget Collins brings to life the bleakness of the landscape and those who inhabit it, she adds a little intrigue and mystery and gives us a story in which you can become truly immersed. It is a ‘slow burner’ so stick with it as it is a fascinating, well crafted story that is certainly worth reading.

With thanks to The Borough Press via NetGalley for an eCopy of The Binding by Bridget Collins. All thoughts are my own, I have not received any payment for the review of this book.


Publisher: The Borough Press (10 Jan. 2019)

Hardcover: 448 pages       Language: English

ISBN-10: 0008272115         ISBN-13: 978-0008272111

Buy:     HarperCollins     AmazonUK

35d621fd-513b-4d49-95db-afa88e11a82b-2136-0000046a2e44424b-1Bridget Collins trained as an actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art after reading English at King’s College, Cambridge. She is the author of seven acclaimed books for young adults and has had two plays produced, one at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. THE BINDING is her first adult novel.


Follow Bridget Collins on Twitter: @Br1dgetCollins





Books, Cats, Etc.

A place to share my love of books, old and new


Thinking, writing, thinking about writing...


Book reviews by someone who loves books ...

Just One More Chapter

Book Reviews & More

Years of Reading Selfishly

Life is too short to read books you don't love

Crime Cymru

The Welsh Crime Writing Collective

Sharon Dempsey

First Chapter

Beverley's Reads

Book Reviews & The Joy of Reading

the dead authors club

a classics club blog

Indie Bookshops and Publishers

"I love the smell of book ink in the morning." Umberto Eco


The poetry and writing of Ailsa Cawley. Welcome!

The Last Word Book Review

Musings about books and a blog journal

Crime Writer Margot Kinberg

...a crime-fictional site

All the Vintage Ladies

A bookish blog (mostly) about women writers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

Hugh's Views & News  

WordPress & Blogging tips, flash fiction, photography and lots more!


A book lover writes about this, that and the other

The Classics Club

A Community of Classics Lovers

Reading Matters

Book reviews of mainly modern & contemporary fiction

Rebecca Bradley

Murder Down To A Tea

Raven Crime Reads

Criminally good reads

The book review café

Book reviews and the occasional ramblings of a book blogger


The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Challenge

A Fangirl's Opinion

One Girl, Too Many Books

Jen Med's Book Reviews

Musings and Ramblings of a Disorganised Blogger

Digital Reads Media

Shalini's Digital Reads & Promotions

KayCKay Book Reviews

No one ever reads the same book. We all react to the written word differently. The following are my opinions regarding the books I have read.

Being Anne...

Books, travel, and other things that make life interesting

What Cathy Read Next...

For book lovers everywhere

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Free bookreviews and other free book related stuff

Nordic Lighthouse

Spotlight on Nordic / Scandinavian crime fiction... and connections

Bookish Chat

All things bookish.

Traveling Sisters Book Reviews

Traveling together through books. Join us on our adventures through the books we read

Novel Deelights

Escaping reality one book at a time

The Quiet Knitter

Just a quiet knitter with an addiction to books

Jess Bookish Life

Reader | Writer | Blogger

Novel Writing Festival

Monthly Festival : Turn your book into a movie and get it seen by 1000s of people. Or garner FULL FEEDBACK from publishers on your novel and help your next draft. Or get a transcript video of your novel performed by professional actors.

Scribbling Clouds

The place where I put down all my thoughts and observations

Pages Below the Vaulted Sky

A book blog with a speculative focus

Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader

Reading under the light of a Carolina moon



%d bloggers like this: