The most captivating novel of 2019
‘Utterly brilliant’ Joanna Cannon
‘Truly spellbinding’ Guardian
‘Pure magic’ Erin Kelly
‘A real treat’ The Times
‘Gorgeous‘ Stella Duffy
‘Astounding’ Anna Mazzola
Imagine you could erase your grief.
Imagine you could forget your pain.
Imagine you could hide a secret.
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 it.
THE BINDING is an unforgettable, magical novel: a boundary-defying love story and a unique literary event.
About the author
Bridget Collins trained as an actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art after reading English at King's College, Cambridge. She is the author of seven acclaimed books for young adults and has had two plays produced, one at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The Binding, her first adult novel, was the UK’s bestselling debut novel in hardback in 2019.
- ‘The Binding is a dark chocolate slice of cake with a surprising, satisfying seam of raspberry running through it. It is a rich, gothic entertainment that explores what books have trapped in them and reminds us of the power of storytelling. Spellbinding’ Tracy Chevalier
- ‘Truly spellbinding … readers will sink gratefully into the pleasures of its pages … Like a wonderful meal made from a few simple ingredients: the feeling in your chest when you hold someone in your arms for the first time; the sight of a host of bluebells. In recent years, the state of the world has threatened to make us forget the simple pleasures of kisses and bluebells and thick novels that tell stories of heartbreak. Here is a book to help us remember’ Guardian
- ‘Intense, immersive … A stirring, highly original piece of storytelling and world-making’ Sunday Times
- ‘With a twisting narrative that explores humans’ darkest moments and morals, Collins has created a fascinating fantasy world that evokes the atmosphere of Sarah Waters’ books with a nod to Philip Pullman. And, with a love story holding much of the story’s emotion together, this is definitely a book you’ll want to lose yourself to for hours on end’ Stylist
- ‘Part fantasy, part faux-history, part heart-in-your throat love story, it’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets The Miniaturist’ Grazia
- ‘More of an experience than a book, written with such grace and wisdom. Utterly brilliant’ Joanna Cannon, author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep
- ‘Pure magic. The kind of immersive storytelling that makes you forget your own name. I wish I had written it’ Erin Kelly, author of He Said/She Said
- ‘An original concept, beautifully written. Collins’ prose is spellbinding’ Laura Purcell, author of The Silent Companions
- ‘A real treat … gothic, imaginative and dark’ The Times
- ‘Beguiling … Dark and atmospheric’ i Paper
- ‘Vivid … magic’ Naomi Novik, New York Times