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The Binding

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4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,638 ratings  ·  512 reviews
Imagine you could erase grief.
Imagine you could remove pain.
Imagine you could hide the darkest, most horrifying secret.
Forever.

Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder—a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice among their small community bu
...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published January 10th 2019 by The Borough Press
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  • The Binding by Bridget Collins
    The Binding
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    Release date: Apr 16, 2019
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    Giveaway dates: Feb 17 - Mar 03, 2019

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    Kim Gallacher It is referred to quite frequently, but does not graphically go into details. If it is a trigger, this book would make you quite upset. It is a…moreIt is referred to quite frequently, but does not graphically go into details. If it is a trigger, this book would make you quite upset. It is a beautifully written book and it doesn't glorify sexual violence in my opinion but it's a very strong theme throughout.(less)

    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    4.08  · 
    Rating details
     ·  1,638 ratings  ·  512 reviews


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    Paromjit
    Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Bridget Collins has written a beautifully imagined piece of fantasy historical fiction, a sumptuous love story, of poor farmer's son, Emmet Farmer, and the wealthy, privileged Lucian Darnay, doomed to be star crossed lovers. In this world, books are not what we would recognise them to be, books are for all those things that people feel destroyed by and cannot live with in their lives. They are extraordinary hand crafted, leather bound repositories of actual peoples memories, their secrets, grief ...more
    Will Byrnes
    We’ve been called witches since the beginning of time. Word-cunning, they used to call it—of a piece with invoking demons…We were burned for it too. The Crusade wasn’t new, we’ve always been scapegoats. Well, knowledge is always a kind of magic, I suppose.
    Emmett Farmer is a young man with issues. He used to think that he would inherit his family’s farm. It was the life he was used to and the road he expected to follow to, and beyond, the horizon. But he has not been himself lately. His abiliti
    ...more
    Ova - Excuse My Reading
    This is a difficult one to review.

    I think I expected this book to be more fantasy than it currently is. It started very slow for my liking, and I think if it wasn't all the PR campaign and the interest that's built on Social media, if this was a book I've myself picked, I'd probably give up around 20%. But I continued reading because I was really intrigued, also the reviews are really good for this book. Sadly I will not join the fan base, this time. I confess, I stopped proper reading at 40% t
    ...more
    Hollis
    I'm starting to become a little disillusioned with upcoming releases by unknown or new-to-me authors. THE BINDING has an excellent marketing campaign, a gorgeous cover, and was a book I wanted to get into my hands, desperately, due to a (inaccurate) comparison to a book I love. However, for this reader, the insides don't match the outsides.

    This book has three parts to it. The first act is slow, plodding, and mired in the familiar 'other characters know things but cannot tell the protagonist for
    ...more
    Umut Reviews
    Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
    2.5 stars. I had high hopes for this book, really loved the premise, but I think it’s one of those cases that it delivered something else than promised. The idea sounded very original; people’s bad memories binded in a book, so that they don’t remember them anymore. It sounded like it has fantasy elements, some magic with interesting characters. The book is divided in 3 parts. I loved the first part, but things went into a completely different direction starting from the second part. The rest of ...more
    Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
    Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Recommended to Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ by: Emer
    thebinding3

    The premise of The Binding in one sentence : terrible people are terrible, and when I say terrible what I really mean is everyone. It's terribly gruesome and disturbing at times and portrays abuse in many shapes, yet I couldn't look away. For the past few days, I've been wondering why I was so damn affected by a novel that many of my friends found lacking. Yet I'm pretty sure that the sense of dread I felt came from how very realistic the horrors pictured were : you can wrap up abuse with a fan
    ...more
    Caroline
    ***NO SPOILERS***

    In this surprisingly emotional fantasy–literary fiction blend, books are sordid things, definitely not read, and locked away in vaults at reputable companies with names such as Lyon & Sons. Each book in this world contains the wiped memories, most often horrible, of one person. Destroy that book by fire, and restore the horrible memory. Or, in rarer instances, destroy that book and restore destroyed lives.

    On the simplest level, The Binding is about same-age characters Emmet
    ...more
    karen
    Jul 12, 2018 marked it as to-read
    ugh - tell me this technology is available and sign me up, please.

    also, sign me up for the book, double please.
    Emer
    I FREAKING LOVED THIS!

    Historical fiction mixed with folklore and magical realism, and a love story that gave me all of the feels!!!!!!!! YASSSSSS. Do yourself a favour and read it.

    Perfect for people who liked The Thirteenth Tale or The Shadow of the Wind

    ONE FAULT THOUGH
    The freaking blurb on the back cover gave away a plot line that didn't occur until page 161.... Like I get that I probs would have figured it out anyway BUT STILL! Robbed me of some of my fun so bah humbug to you blurb writing t
    ...more
    Katie.dorny
    Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2019
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Jojo
    I had such high hopes for this book, and I'm left feeling dreadfully disappointed. This book was overhyped, and that I'm positive of. I really couldn't wait to get my hands on this. The plot sounded intriguing and I adored the cover. Lets be honest, it is quite something, and I was kind of lured in by it.

    This book consists of three parts. The first part was slow, and it really, really dragged. The second was better, as I think it is the only part of the entire book that I liked and was tolerabl
    ...more
    Lou
    Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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 ...more
    Christie«SHBBblogger»

    Title: The Binding
    Series: Standalone
    Author: Bridget Collins
    Release date: January 7, 2019
    Genre: historical fiction, fantasy

    I had such high hopes for this book and I'm so disappointed that I didn't love it. 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
    ...more
    Liz Barnsley
    Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
    Very difficult book to review this, without giving away the secrets that make it pure magic on the page, but let’s see how we go.
    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. So begins an unusual love story, a speculative fantasy tale, a beautifully
    ...more
    Tanja Berg
    Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
    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
    ...more
    Kelly
    Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: physical-arcs
    I was very lucky to receive a beautiful proof copy of this book from the folk at Borough Press and I am so pleased I did. This is a phenomenal book that is going to be a front facer in the fantasy section for a long time coming. The story of a young man who is summoned to be an apprentice binder is beautifully written and full of emotion. A wonderful imagining of a world where your memories can be taken from you, if you wish, and bound into a book that is so cleverly written it doesn't seem like ...more
    Jane
    Jan 29, 2019 added 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
    ...more
    Nigel
    Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
    I was intrigued by the idea of this book. I enjoy a well written fantasy read. The idea that a binder could take away a person's painful memories and put them into a book was novel to me.
    Certainly the opening chapter appealed and was powerful. We have Emmett, a boy working on his family's farm, who is ill. He is to be apprenticed to an ageing binder against his will. Binders are seen by many as akin to witches and to be avoided and feared.

    The book is in three parts. The first part follows Emmett
    ...more
    Kindling Micky
    THE BINDING felt to be a unique read, within a historical/magically-orientated world. THE BINDING is about my favourite subject, books. It is about the making of them and what is behind the whole need to make a book; it wasn't at all what it seemed to be. More than anything, THE BINDING was about the binder, a young man, an apprentice, Emmett Farmer.

    This is a book that started slow, and for me, it had pacing issues right through the first half. There were periods of confusion in the first few h
    ...more
    Deborah Ideiosepius
    This book is an interesting example of light magic realism used in a otherwise realistic scenario. The book is set in a vaguely medieval setting (We have pistols and some machinery, coaches ect), though not much writing is dedicated to expanding on the world building of time and place.

    This novel is, essentially a YA love story with the slight twist that the romance is LGBT rather than standard. The twist to the romance, and the world, is that in this world a 'book' is usually made through a 'bin
    ...more
    Tahlia
    Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: favorites
    Blog Post: http://museofnyxmares.wordpress.com/...

    Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/museofnyxma...

    *I was provided with an ARC of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest opinion. All quotes used may be subject to change upon publication.

    The Binding was one of my most highly anticipated releases of 2019, and so I was more than eager to get my hands on it, and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have quite high expectations going into it, because I’d hyped it up so much. And I’m
    ...more
    AnnaG
    Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
    Great concept, but didn't live up to its potential in my opinion. I wasn't keen on the characters and I kept on thinking how much better a plot I could have come up with based on this concept.
    Menna van Praag
    Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Every so often, once in a decade if I’m lucky, a book comes along that grips me with such force that I lose my mind a little. In my pre-teens it was The Water Babies, in my teens Rebecca, in my 20s The Time Traveller’s Wife, in my 30s The Night Circus. In my 40s it might just be The Binding - unless something comes along in the next 9 years to trump it, which I can hope for (who doesn’t want that experience again?!) but suspect is unlikely. Now, I know that love for a book on this level is (almo ...more
    Ithil
    Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Immediately after finishing it: This is probably going to be a massive hit next year. I loved every second of it and the characters. OMG they have shown me their story, not told me, and I have lived it with them feeling it deeply. What an amazing book. I'm so going to be recommending it!


    You need to read this book. You just don’t know it yet.

    This is going to be a difficult review for me due to the fact that I absolutely loved the book and I’m probably not going to make it justice with a written r
    ...more
    Angel McGregor
    Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    What a phenomenal book!! I received a proof of this book at a Bookseller event, and had the privilege of meeting Bridget Collins and hearing her speak about her story before I read it. Listening to her was fantastic, hearing where her ideas came from and how the story developed. The intriguing idea of books being true stories, bound from people who want to forget, or needing to in order to make money, was one that intrigued me on a level that I think only true bookish people can understand, but ...more
    Rosemary Standeven
    Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
    I did enjoy this book – the central love story was very well done, as was the portrayal of class structure and social expectations – but I felt that the fantasy angle had not been fully thought through. The book is in three parts – the first two narrated by the main character, and the third by another central character. The fantasy aspect is generally confined to the first and last parts, with the middle section almost free to be a straightforward, but beautifully told love story.
    The fantasy re
    ...more
    Eddie Clarke
    Jan 26, 2019 rated it liked it
    Shelves: fantasy, fiction, lgbt
    A tricky one. I usually react negatively to books I perceive as over-hyped (whatever their merit), and this one is being hyped to the point of posters on London Underground. It owns literary twitter. Bookshops have huge themed windows and tables piled high. And nevertheless I found myself in possession of Waterstone’s exquisite exclusive first edition with purple sprayed page block.

    Visually, the book is gorgeous. Also, the premise intrigued me - a fantasy world where painful memories can be magi
    ...more
    Beadyjan
    Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: best-reads-2018
    Isn’t it wonderful when you hear about a book you’re certain you’ll love.

    Isn’t it awesome when you are granted a copy to read and review before most folk get to read it? (Thank you Harper Collins and Edelweiss+)

    Isn’t it amazing when you love it even MORE than you thought humanly possible?

    Isn’t it brilliant to be able to shout about it and tell people how amazing it is? And isn’t it hard to find the right words to do it justice?

    To say I adored this book is a gross understatement, I devoured it an
    ...more
    Carlene Inspired
    Emmett is drawn to books despite his father's warnings to stay far away. Books are not what we think them to be, they hold secrets, pain, and the power to change a person's life forever. They are magic. Bookbinders, as they are called, are able to lock away a person's memories, some are artists and others use their ability for evil. Though he's desperate to deny his calling, Emmett is a book binder and while he is trained to respect the task and those that leave part of themselves behind, nothin ...more
    Tucker (TuckerTheReader)
    DNF @ Page 44. I'm really not liking this at all. It's boring and I feel like the story will never start.
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