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Try these:. Where will all this lead? As the story of Emmett Farmer, his family, their daily farm life and a life changing encounter with the scrumptious aristocrat Lucian Darnay unfolds, the truth bursts through like the sun emerging on a cloudy day. Like all good stories, there is as much dark as there is light and a good share of old-fashioned villainy to make things come crashing down to the extent that it seems the young lovers may not get to enjoy a happy ending. The finale of The Binding , enthralling, tense yet satisfying, leaves you thinking hoping , there may be scope for a sequel.

She is the author of seven acclaimed books for young adults and has had two plays produced, one at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Overall Reviews:. Review Type. Date Range. To view reviews within a date range, please click and drag a selection on a graph above or click on a specific bar. Show graph. Off-topic Review Activity. When enabled, off-topic review activity will be filtered out. This defaults to your Review Score Setting.

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Popular user-defined tags for this product:? Sign in Sign in to add your own tags to this product. Gifting on Steam The Steam Community. Support Forums Stats. All rights reserved. It's a journey well worth taking. View all 17 comments. Jan 15, Katie. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. And the gays get a happy ending!!!! Emmett is a sick young man, but he is handed off by his parents to a binder - a woman who can take traumatic memories and bind them in books to make you forget.

She has specifically requested Emmett as her apprentice. Emmett is a conflicted, flawed but wonderful young man with good morals. I loved this book. The plot, they way the plot developed, the well rounded and fleshed out characters, amazing start to the year! View all 5 comments. Apr 22, Donna rated it liked it Shelves: gothic , coming-of-age , fantasy , romance.

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I was excited to begin this book with its interesting premise and the promise of a blend of fantasy and reality. And I was not disappointed at first. Those memories would then be kept safe in beautiful books the binders fashioned for I was excited to begin this book with its interesting premise and the promise of a blend of fantasy and reality. This also kept the books safe from physical harm, since if a book were ever to be destroyed, the memories in it would return to the person.

Bindings could only be done for those giving their permission. However, this rule did not take into account those being coerced into giving their permission. And then, there were those people desperate enough to sell their memories, even the good ones, to those same unscrupulous binders. Such books were often indistinguishable from those labeled novels. Novels, unlike books, were clearly filled with fictitious contents and were permissible to be sold.

All these elements of binding were a rich field in which to grow an abundant story. But this is where my disappointment came in. The author never did explore many of these elements in any depth beyond how they connected to her main characters. She hardly explored that world at large or the act of binding itself and the morality involved. Instead, the book focused on the relationship between the two main male characters, to the exclusion of all else, in the second and third parts, comprising the bulk of this story.

Even my memories of my life before that—last spring, last winter—were tinged with the same gangrenous shadow, as if nothing was healthy anymore. How he came to be in this state and why his family acted toward him as they did and why a wealthy young man named Lucian Darnay, visiting his uncle on a neighboring farm, disquiets him so much—all these elements were teeming with gothic mystery which added to the tension and suspense and made me feel for Emmett Farmer.

Eventually, Emmett is sent away to train as a book binder, something he feels is a punishment. This is where the story really took off for me as Emmett trains with an old woman named Seredith who lives out in the marshes and whom people think of as a witch. So what happened after this point that had me feeling disappointed in this book? In parts two and three, the relationship between Emmett and Lucian dominated the story.

I felt this was detrimental to the story at large and to the premise it was built on. I enjoyed their relationship, but the details of it became repetitive and drawn out, and very little about bookbinding was explored outside of their lives. The morality and philosophy of bookbinding would have made for an interesting discussion among the characters who might question their world a little more and get the reader thinking along with them. Instead, I was a bystander in the story, able to sympathize with the characters, but not able to fully immerse myself in all that was happening after part one.

Villainous characters, likewise, were one dimensional. It was as if the author had used all her energy on Emmett and Lucian and had little left over for much else besides describing the environment around them. In this, the writing is highly descriptive and often poetic, which is both a compliment and a complaint. On the positive side, the author is an expressive and extremely observant person who details her story in beautiful and surprising ways.

The fire had nearly gone out; ash had grown over the embers like moss. I moved my fingers through the focused ellipse of lamplight, letting it sit above my knuckle like a ring. When I sat back, it shone on the patchwork quilt, picking out the curl of a printed fern. It teetered on the edge of ridiculousness at one point when one character spat a huge wad of phlegm and another character watched it land on the ground in the shape of a leaf.

This is not an observation that anyone would probably have in this instance or one a reader would care to have thrown their way. So this book has many good things to recommend it—a fascinating premise, sympathetic main characters, plus one very good supporting character, many instances of beautiful and atmospheric writing, a gothic style setting, and plenty of mystery. But the relationship between the two main characters took center stage after part one, which I feel took something away from the general story and left no room for the author to explore the act of binding or its effect on that society, especially with a change in viewpoint.

I do think this would make a nice first book in a series if, in later books, the art of bookbinding was actually the focus and practiced in numerous circumstances beyond the few times portrayed in this book. View all 40 comments. Well, this was a surprise! You understand? What had happened?

At the centr Well, this was a surprise! If the first part introduces us to the bookbinder and Emmett, and to a world where books exist, but now as we know them, the second half of the novel is more fast-paced, full of intrigue and plot twists. TW: abuse, suicide. The Binding, Bridget Collins's first adult novel, is a book full of wonderful magic and searing heartache. A special hybrid of fantasy and historical fiction, it is a sumptuous and emotional affair which is substantial in its sincerity and exquisite in its writing. The premise, that memories you wished to be forgotten can be bound and effectively erased from a person's life, is a unique one and one I was on board with from the beginning.

But this original concept is not the end of the story as i The Binding, Bridget Collins's first adult novel, is a book full of wonderful magic and searing heartache. But this original concept is not the end of the story as it brings together two characters, Emmett and Lucian, in a beautiful, heartfelt love story.


  • The Binding.
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Two lovers that cross the class divide, with one being rich and one poor, but also many other divides of the time period. Collins's world is lush, richly imagined and one I really didn't want to leave. This is a breathtakingly spectacular read and rates as one of the first fantastic reading experiences of The plot is a slow burn for the first half of the novel, which I enjoyed, and from then on it gathered pace a little. The perfect pacing is matched by the equally perfect storytelling ability of the author; it's rare you come across a more exceptional portrayal of time and place.

An utterly charming and nuanced story with all the makings of a bestseller that captivated me from first page to last. Dec 12, Liz Barnsley rated it really liked it. Imagine if you could bind away your memories in a book — once written and bound you forget. You can leave the bad behind. Is that good? Or would it empty you of that which makes you who you are..

Emmett has been unwell, a fever of the mind, when he is called to learn the trade of the bookbinder. The Binding is a slow burner of a literary delight, gorgeous immersive prose and an utterly compelling story. A novel of many layers, with a huge heart and a melancholy emotional core, it was utterly riveting from the very first page. Jan 29, Jane rated it liked it. I was drawn to this book by its intriguing title, by its beautiful cover, and by the promise of a story in which books were fundamental. They were but they were books quite unlike any that I had ever read.

They were books that held dark secrets and unhappy memories; drawn out from peoples minds and bound into the elegant leather-bound volumes by Bookbinders, so that memories were erased, secrets were concealed and the troublesome pasts were securely locked away. The story was set in a place somew I was drawn to this book by its intriguing title, by its beautiful cover, and by the promise of a story in which books were fundamental.

The story was set in a place somewhere like the British Isles, a hundred or so years ago. Emmett learned his craft slowly, under the watchful eye of an old woman. She told him that he was following a sacred calling, and she stored rows upon rows of books that she had bound over the years over the years in a secure vault below her workshop. But Emmett would find that there were Bookbinders who were much less scrupulous, who would trade in books and exploit their contents. Then, just as he had begun to settle into his new life and occupation, he made an extraordinary discovery: there was a book in the vault that had has his name on it ….

The concept was intriguing, and the story that played out in three acts explored the questions and issues that spun around that concept wonderfully well. What might be the consequences of not remembering, of cutting parts of a life away? Was there a danger that people could be pushed towards Bookbinders for the wrong reasons, for the benefit of others not themselves? What would happen if people who had had all of their memories of each other bound into books met again?

So much could go wrong ….. The story speaks profoundly of love and loss, and it speaks quite naturally of issues that are very relevant today — the class divide, homophobia, the abuse of power, sexism …. I wish that I had liked it more than I did. That story was well told, but it was predictable in places and there were too many times when I knew what was going to happen and wished things would move forward more quickly. I think that I might have been the wrong reader for this book; and that my expectations of what it would be were wrong and that the magic I hoped to find was of a different kind.

But I also think that a bit more editing and an opening out of the story would have made this a much better book. When I read the synopsis it sounded like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind which is a favorite film of mine. It's about a couple who have broken up and erase each other from their memories to forget the heartbreak they suffer from.

The twist on that concept is that the memories being erase Title: The Binding Series: Standalone Author: Bridget Collins Release date: January 7, Genre: historical fiction, fantasy I had such high hopes for this book and I'm so disappointed that I didn't love it. The twist on that concept is that the memories being erased are being bound inside books. I loved the concept and I couldn't wait to explore it more. This was quite a bit darker than I expected. A lot more. In fact there could be triggers for readers in this book, view spoiler [rape, sexual abuse, suicide hide spoiler ] and I don't think the synopsis properly conveys what to expect in this one on several levels.

The Binding is set in a world sometime in the late s, early s, 60 years after "The Crusades.

The Binding : Bridget Collins :

This war which persecuted book binders as witches establishes the society as a puritanical one, painted as intolerant and prejudiced against the unknown. Emmett Farmer has always had a curiosity for books, but his parents were scandalized when they saw him reading one as a child. He was sharply struck and forbidden to ever have one in his possession again. However, one day they receive a summons from a local binder who wants him as her apprentice and they ship him off to her remote home out of fear. Emmett has no wish to leave his family, but his mental "illness" has been a burden on his family and he believes it may be for the best.

Once at the Binder's, Emmett soon learns that books are not just simple stories recorded for the reader's enjoyment as he previously believed. He never understood the stigma attached to them, but suddenly it's all becoming more clear. The people who arrive in the middle of the night, wracked with mental anguish leave in a calm stupor. Numb ghosts of themselves, they're ushered out as if starting a new chapter in their lives. The previous pages stricken out of existence, like a big red pen crossing through mistakes better left out of the final version.

The books Seredith creates are secreted away and protected at all costs, but not all Binders have her integrity. The irony here is that she is virtually the only binder who was shown to the reader who wasn't corrupted by greed and malice. Yet she was the one who was scorned the most by everyone for her old-fashioned, so-called useless practices in binding.

Those whom the world should fear the most were the devil sitting next to you at a dinner party. Collins constructed the Binding process that's mired in darkness, so much so that I wasn't able to detect any benefit from it all. Seredith claimed it was serving people, "doctoring their souls" so they could find peace. But I saw no evidence that there was anything good about this magic bestowed on them. You don't doctor a soul by trying to erase pain from existence. Through our worst mistakes and trials in life we are taught vital lessons that help us grow.

As we see in the book, the people who are bound are tormented by nightmares that creep in. Sleep and wake bring them foggy feelings of disquiet that could be triggered at any time. There's no healing in an artificial erasing of pain.

The Binding by Bridget Collins review – magical tale of supernatural books

It's bottled up inside, silently trapping you in your subconscious. The problem for me was that though the hero struggled with his conscience over being "called" to binding, in the end he would continue to seek out work in the practice. Even after seeing the dark underbelly of the beast and how it wreaked havoc on his own life.

As the storyline wears on, you discover characters who use binders to hide their sins so they may continue to do harm. And the binders who serve them regularly can't be bothered to care about the consequences of their actions on the victims. They weave through the upper class in the finest silks, garments paid for with the suffering of those not worth a second thought.

Classism is a strong theme in the book. The poorer "peasants" are forced to sell their memories out of desperation, and their struggles to survive are far removed from the elite whose money buys silence and respect. One aspect to The Binding I thought was kind of funny was the author's tongue in cheek shot at fiction books. There were "fakes" otherwise known as novels that were mocked as useless and silly. Because after all, who would want to read made up stories about heartbreaking things?

It makes one wonder who would write them. People who can spend days writing a long sad lie without going insane. The writing style of Collins was especially flowery and descriptive. I typically enjoy this style, so it didn't slow down my reading pace at all. But I did find that after a few chapters in I saw patterns in the descriptions that because extremely repetitive. I'm not exaggerating when I say that every time a scene changed, someone looked out a window, woke up, went to sleep, walked into a room They observed a patch of light and how it appeared.

How it illuminated someone, how it moved, faded, sparkled, consumed shadows. Sadly, my biggest grievances with the story was the romance and the ending. The romance was love triangle with the hero's sister as the third party. It was a forbidden romance where feelings were kept quiet in the hopes that they would go away. A major problem for me was that his sister was innocent of veiled intentions and misconceptions, and inevitably she was a victim when truths were revealed. The two main characters snuck around in secret and their actions were a major betrayal of trust.

In the second half of the book the love interest became a snobby, cowardly, and unlikable person. I understood that circumstances and home life caused this, but their bitterness and anger made them hard to root for. At one point, they knowingly caused a man's murder by his own careless words and couldn't bring themselves to try to help him.

The story sank deeper and deeper into desperation and gloom and I sped on waiting for a resolution to it all. The ending I give one star. It was pitifully abrupt and so unsatisfying. I wanted the villain of the book to get his comeuppance and instead we saw absolutely nothing happen. It was as if the ending was hacked off right in the middle of a scene leaving you with a feeling of deprivation.

I found some things about the story to be compelling, but the execution overall wasn't for me. However, I'm sure many will love the intriguing concept, so I urge you to read it and judge for yourself.

View all 4 comments. I did quickly figure out some things on my own. Other things I kept guessing which was fun. The detailed reveals never disappointed me. I enjoyed the writing and storytelling style. For me it started off a bit slow but as I read on it became a quicker and quicker and quicker read, hard to put down. Wonderfully constructed sections!

There are three sections. The three parts almost feel like different books because focus and some characters and even perspective changes, but the parts also make up a brilliantly constructed whole. I can see where there is room for a sequel but this is fine as a standalone book, even though I found the ending too short and a bit too abrupt and even though, much to my surprise, I might have liked the third section best.

I liked the characters a lot, Lucian and Emmett. Seredith, even though every time I read her name it felt painfully apparent to me that it was a made up name for this story. So many interesting characters throughout though only a very few end up being well rounded and deeply developed. That was okay though. There is a lot of suspense in this story.

It definitely made me want to keep reading. There is also a lot think about around the issue of power, particularly misuse of power but also the powerful and powerless in general. Privacy issues also come up. So a lot of this historical and speculative fiction story seem very topical. The story has a lot of humor and sweetness, but there are many things that will be difficult for some readers to read.

There is a lot of cruelty in this historical world with the characters in this book. One dog scene had me extremely distraught, even though it was short and not overly graphic. For this book I was glad to have already known something about binding, some things about the journey and something about how things get resolved. It kept me from feeling lost or feeling hopeless about things. View all 36 comments. Jan 27, Tanja Berg rated it really liked it Shelves: romance , books-about-books. I picked this book up at the airport on Friday.

It was lying by itself and I was drawn to the beautiful binding. The sheer beauty of it and the promising blurb made me pick it up. It seemed to hold the promise of magic. I didn't really find magic. I found a broken boy, Emmet, who is being sent of to become apprentice to a binder. That means that he is to bind people's memories into books, making them forget terrible things they did or were exposed to.

Not that he knows this. He doesn't know much I picked this book up at the airport on Friday. He doesn't know much aside from books being dangerous. I found a setting of farming and rural livelihood, something like Britain in the 18th or 19th centuries. The fastest means of transport is with horses. The setting is quaint and fairly idyllic.

There is of course a reason that Emmet is broken. That reason is bound in a book and when that book burns, Emmet remembers and everything changes. The middle part is a love story in an unusual and unexpected triangle that would surely disturb sensitive and conservative readers. The story is beautifully written and the theme of love and loss - how much of yourself do you lose, if you keep wiping your memories - quite endearing and thought provoking. If I wiped out some of the things that I am ashamed of, would I be a lesser person for it? There are lessons in pain and shame.

Definitely recommended! Mar 26, Brenda Waworga rated it really liked it. Im so glad i love The Binding story as much as i love the cover!! Part 1 about the Magic system where people can bind their memory mostly memory they dont want to remember onto a book! I loved reading this so much. Collins created a world where books are forbidden and feared, where Bookbinders are looked upon as witches that can steal memories that they bind into books and all that is narrated with a wonderful, eloquent writing. As the synopsis is selling one story many were disappointed that it was a whole other story by the end and not what they expected.

Are you expecting to stay on a strict course with the memories to books theme? It shows the bad side of binding, the consequences it can have on people, it shows the misuse of power by some binders and even by some wealthy people that use the services. I liked the second part for the slow burn romance that was building; I was living for it, but something changed for me after they got together, I guess I like more the buildup than the ending up together part in romances.

Shelves: obtained-and-read-in , favorites , lgbtq-plus , , obtained-in , aty I adored this book. I'm honestly struggling for words to talk about it. I was so deeply invested in this story that the scenes played through my mind like a movie and, were I an artist, I could draw every setting.