The Binding would not be proudly sitting on my shelf if a nice and super enthusiastic bookseller at Waterstones, Trafalgar Square, did not welcome me, a pile of this book in his hand, almost forcing me to take it and whispering « Read it, I have the feeling you’ll love it. » To be honest, I looked at him weirdly, but took the book anyway — what did I have to lose ?
The novel sat in my to be read pile for more than three months before I finally decided to lay both hands on it and eventually read it. I did not know anything about the author when I began to read, and I certainly did not read any reviews about it because, whenever I thought about the novel, I could not help but wonder what made this odd bookseller think I was going to like it when — as I noticed later that day — he did not act the same with the other customers. Strangely, he made me feel like this book and I could have some sort of special connection. And so I wanted to hang on to that.
The Binding is in fact Bridget Collins’ first adult novel, as it was published in 2019 by Haper Collins. The Binding is a novel about books which reminds us of the power held in story telling.
Emmett Farmer, our main character, is summoned by a bookbinder to start his apprenticeship. However, bookbinding is an act which seems to trigger fear and superstition among his family. As much as this calling scares Emmett’s parents, it seems almost impossible for them to refuse, and so they decide to send their son away.
And so he leaves his family to meet Seredith — his master learning — who informs him that he is a binder born. Bookbinding seems to be an art which requires many skills, and as he spends weeks under Seredith’s watchful eye, he will happen to make an astonishing discovery. One of the books has his name on it.
For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. »
The Binding is a novel full of magic, mystery and love. It is the story of a lost boy who will discover the most important parts of himself through books. As a reader, and a lover of books and writer myself, I could not resist to dive into this novel and adore it — the metaphor running along the novel being so representative of how readers conceive books. Even though, in reality, books don’t hold the same tangible kind of magid, they still have power in every sense of the word.
Bridget Collins’ The Binding had power on me. Let it be thanks to the author’s way with words or the magic and fantastic truth held in the story, but this novel gave me chills. It reminded me that storytelling as much as reading or hearing a story are acts which require parts of ourselves. It demands inspiration, memories, implication, understanding, love, appreciation, interpretation, and so many more things triggered by writing and reading that I could not cite since there are so numerous.
Reading The Binding was a unique and magical experience, and today, I know I will be forever thankful for the enthusiasm of this odd bookseller of Trafalgar Square. This novel is a story about magic, books, and the power of love that every reader should read, for it expresses and points out the depth of books.