The Binding – Bridget Collins Quick Review
Emmett Farmer leaves his normal life, working as a farmer, to work as an apprentice binder. A person who takes the painful memories from someone and into themselves, crafting a book by hand for those memories to be stored inside. Emmett himself appears to be missing something. He’d been sick, hadn’t been himself in a long time. His family is eager for him to go. Slowly, quietly, Emmett discovers a book of his own. What comes to light is at once full of love and cruelty. Hauntingly dark and full of hope.
I somehow missed the part of the blurb that made it clear this would be a love story and had set myself up for another story almost entirely. Something of a self-discovery, a bigger focus on binding and magic, something along those lines like a historical fantasy adventure of sorts.
While the mystery and major tying subject is essentially a love story, self-discovery was the biggest theme, I felt, in the book and it is written beautifully and painfully. Carrying a weight with it through out.
The atmosphere in the book is dark and moody and quiet. The characters match the atmosphere. They are easy to feel for and their relationships are complex. The system of binding is unique, intriguing and complex in of itself. Bringing questions with it, its own darkness and weight. Collins tied it all together in stunning prose. Balancing darkness and hope, love and cruelty so well.
Overall it was an enjoyable reading experience but difficult to get through.
The book, divided into three parts, is heavy on detail and sometimes it felt like not a lot happened quickly. Everything takes its time and while that does lend more time to feel for and with the characters it did sometimes also feel like work to get through.
I can’t not mention how stunning the book cover is. I’m obsessed.
-3/5 A slow, thought provoking and dark journey of self-discovery and forbidden love.