The binding is an adult historical/fantasy novel. We follow our main character Emmet Farmer and his life as he becomes a binder. The act of binding is the ability to remove someone’s memories and place them in a book. It was once a sacred act but by the point of the novel beginning, binders are seen as witches.
This story wove fantasy into a victorian-esque world. You read about carriages and balls and then saw bindings. It felt like a beautiful re imagining of the world.
I think the most interesting aspect of this book was how binding was often used to hide horrific events. An example is a character being forced to be bound after being constantly attacked and raped by her boss. On the flip side, it explored people who were just so sad they wanted to get rid of the pain. It was really interesting to see both sides of this and how these things formed the world.
Personally I loved the plot and characters. I was intrigued the whole time to figure out what was hidden in a certain book, and the reveal was so heart breaking. There were many emotional hills in this book, and even more when you finished the book and realized things the characters would not have realized.
The only real negative I have, is that the ending felt rushed. We slowly moved to a crescendo throughout this novel, and then it was a straight fall down over maybe 20 pages. The novel spent so long building up and preparing you for the ending that when the ending came, I was disappointed because I felt like it was missing some depth. Maybe the depth of showing an epilogue, or just the depth that would have come from dragging this out further.
Bridget Collins created an elaborate world full with lifelike characters and a sad plot that left you aching.
A warning for those who love a happy go lucky story, both families of the main characters are horrible people, and things get far worse before they get better.