- Author: Bridget Collins
- Publisher: Borough Press
- Series or Standalone: Standalone
- Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
- Source or Bought: Preordered a signed copy
- Goodreads Rating: 4.24
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” You become each person you bind Emmett… just for a little while, you take them on”
“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”
My first impression of this novel was the beautiful cover! It is an absolutely stunning book, and it gets even better under the dust jacket showcasing a gold gilded, traditionally bound book.
The plot was well executed and I found the jumps in time and point of view changes refreshing without being confusing. The story itself was not what I expected from the blurb. I was expecting a much more “fantasy” fantasy if that makes a shred of sense. To elaborate, the only part of the created world that seemed magical was the bookbinding itself. The story had many dark twists and turns which I enjoyed but didn’t expect, with themes of rape and abuse of power playing a pivotal part in the story. I was saddened that the abusive characters weren’t brought to justice, but I feel this may have been intentional maintaining a realism to the book. As all too often as we have seen with the ME TOO movement, abusers in positions of power often go unpunished.
The writing style of Bridget Collins was flawless, I was completely lost in the novel whilst reading and I loved the slow burn romance, it was built up brilliantly and had me on the edge of my seat.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book, my only critique is that I didn’t find that I connected with the characters as much as I would have liked. Books can really pull on my emotions and whilst I felt for Emmett and the other characters, my heartstrings weren’t pulled enough to leave a lasting impact.
Despite me personally not connecting as much as I would have liked, I really recommend this book as I believe it has a universal appeal to fantasy, mystery and romance lovers.