Thursday, 20 August 2020

Let's talk The Binding by Bidget Collins

Hey lovelies, welcome back!

I bought The Binding by Bridget Collins last year when it was first published after seeing a lot of buzz about it within the book community. In store I was immediately drawn in by its strikingly beautiful cover! Everything from the intricate detail, to the sprayed edges appealed to me and when an old colleague recommended it the sale was complete. As with everything, I am always late to the party and it has since been sat on my bookshelf waiting to be picked up. Thankfully, lockdown provided the perfect opportunity, I'm only sorry I didn't pick it up sooner!

All his life, Emmett Farmer has laboured as a farm hand. As his name suggests, that's his destiny. That is until he receives an invitation to begin an apprenticeship as a bookbinder - a vocation that arouses fear, suspicion and prejudice. There he will learn the craft of a bookbinder - to capture something quite unique and extraordinary, a person's memory, and bind it into a beautiful volume to be stored in the vault with many others, including his own...


Initially I wasn't sure this was for me. The pace was very slow to start, and I didn't feel compelled to pick it up and read which almost led to me putting it down. However, I persevered, I knew I'd never pick it back up if I did and felt as if I owed it to my colleague to give it a proper try, and boy did it grow on me soon after! By the end of part one Collins had caught my intrigue which only grew stronger as I devoured parts two and three.

For me, the turning point was the indication of where the plot was going. Collin's expertly wove the plot to create a natural vibe. Watching Emmett and Lucian's relationship develop was effortless and unforced which left me feeling excited and giddy, a feeling not many books have evoked. However, Collins doesn’t broadcast the subject matter or force down readers throats, opting for a more subtle, blasé approach making it a pleasant surprise. I am a strong advocate for LGBTQ fiction having it’s own genre and section within bookshops, but by taking a nonchalant approach Collins is normalising homosexual relationships in Fiction and therefore creating diversity and pushing the boundaries of Fiction as a genre.

Divided into three parts, the structure blended them together perfectly. Having a flashback sandwiched between the discovery and the aftermath was a genius writing choice by Collins. It provided answers to questions raised in part one and created suspense for the action in part three.

My favourite character was undoubtedly Lucian! With his brooding demeanour and arrogant sense of entitlement he is the perfect bad boy, but these qualities add dimensions and complexity to his character and enabled a growth that on he could go through.

The open ending was the final touch to a beautiful and emotional story that allows you to interpret it and envision your own ending, it fitted with the structure flawlessly. Now out in paperback, this genre defying novel is a must-read! 

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