The Binding

ooks are dangerous things in Collins 's alternate universe, a place vaguely reminiscent of 19th-century England. It 's th world in which people visit book binders to rid themselves of painful or treacherous memories. Once their stories have been told and are bound between the pages of this novel, the slate is wiped clean and their memories lose the power to hurt or haunt them. After having suffered some ort of mental collapse and no longer willin to keep up with his farm chores, Emmett Farmer is sent to the workshop of one such binder to live and work as her apprentice. Leaving behind home and family, Emmett slowly regains his health while learning the binding trade. He is forbidden to enter the locked room where books are stored, so he spends many months marbling end pages, tooling leather book covers, and gilding edges. But his curiosity is piqued by the people who come and go from the inner sanctum, and the arrival of the lordly Lucian Darnay, with whom he senses a connection, changes everything.
Year of the Publication
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Original Title of the Book
The Binding
Publication Date
Published January 10th 2019 by The Borough Press (first published January 7th 2019

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he first act is slow, plodding, and mired in the familiar 'other characters know things but can ot ell the protagonist for reasons' trope.

Act three is a new erspective, misery, and extra unpleasantness ..

when there was never a lot of that to go around.The concept of binding memories, locking away emotions, is fascinating.

Anothe ha a lot less fantastical than I thought it might be and the only surprise was that there is a queer romance within these pages.

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What is bound in books here are memories.

The of sharing recollections or stories, as they do in our reality, the memories bound into beautifully crafted leather books in his world are removed from clients by binders.

If memory-cleansing bookbinding existed in our world, I imagine there would be a long line of potential clients.

Of course, it could be a challenge to find binders with the innate talent to make those memories move from a client ’ s brain to the page.

One can train in how to work the leather, sew the pages, and do all the material steps entailed in constructing such a nove, but nly those with a special gift can smooth the passage from one medium to the other.

Emmett acclimates to Seradith ’ s remote locale ( out in the marshes), begins to earn the manual end of the binding craft, and is willing to move beyond to learn what bookbinding is really all about ( he does not actually know).

When he sees a book with his name on it, Emmett realizes that he is ess than whole.Part Two of the ovel is Emmett ’ s bound story as reported in that book.

The Binding is an engaging page turner of an historical fantasy, particularly the first third, in which we are reintroduce to Collins ’ s world, an amalgam of the medieval and circa 1890 rural England.

She ha also taking a book-binding class at the time, and th happy combination was conceived.

For instanc, the Binding Law of 1850 in Emmett ’ s world corresponds to the 1850 legalization of gin ( I ’ ll drink to that!) in English law.

There are many novels that use memory loss as a core mechanism.

These tend to populate books in which memory loss features as a Maguffin for propelling a thriller or mystery.

There are stories in which memory loss is via external misadventure of a broader, science-fictiony sort, things like plagues.

What lifts The Binding above the crowd of memory-loss novels is its consideration of the socia implications of voluntary forgetting.

Says you should just take a bit off the top, please, and close on the sides, ok?) I will eave to your imagination ( and thi book of course) how such a system might be abused.

Anyway, we have an author who looks at political power in a very personal way.

To lift the novel even higher is a parallel consideration, the significance, the power of books themselves, what it means to write the nove, to ead book, and to share the experiences of another through the written page.

Is reading book penne by someone else a form of voyeurism?

Others may make use of such books for corrupt purposes.

You, yes you, reading this, you expec the power of books, how they an act like a drug, slaking, temporarily, an unquenchable thirst.

Books change lives, whether we read or write them.

And th world in which all books are locked away sounds rather medieval.Collins offers a bit of wry perspective on writing.

his is a wonderfu read, a thoughtful, engaging novel, featuring a large dollop of Dickensian social commentary, while following an appealing everyman through the perils of coming of age, and offering in addition insightful observations on memory-as-self and the power of books.

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In the remote house of his classmat, he will learn to craft beautiful books and will learn to create something, each time, that is unique; a memory.

I oved how it used books as a way of holding sacred memories, not imagination, whether these be good or bad memories from a persons past.

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while i shoul have like more world-building and development of how he book binding magic works and how binders are created, i cant find myself illing to fault this because of how enamoured i was with emmett and memories.effectively structured, beautifully written, and heartwarmingly tender, this memoi is one i never ant to say.

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He travels to Seredith 's remote home, and surprisingly finds solace in his daily tasks, surrounded by a silence that turns out to be what he needs to bear his illness.The narrative goes back and forth in time, from the time Emmet and his ister, Alta, meet Lucian Darnay, to the development of their friendshi, and to Emmet 's experiences with other bookbinders and their clients.

he reader bring to realiz how Emmet came to develop his mystery illness, and the effects and repercussions of bookbinding on his and Lucian 's lives.

The is brilliant storytelling, that immerses the reader in a past where books are a dangerous and secret commodity, and th forbidden love that threatens to destroy Emmet and Lucian.

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