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Book - The Binding - Hardcover
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Books are dangerous things in Collins's alternate universe, a place vaguely reminiscent of 19th-century England. It's a world in which people visit book binders to rid themselves of painful or treacherous memories. Once their stories have been told and are bound between the pages of a book, the slate is wiped clean and their memories lose the power to hurt or haunt them. After having suffered some sort of mental collapse and no longer able to keep up with his farm chores, Emmett Farmer is sent to the workshop of one such binder to live and work as her apprentice. Leaving behind home and family, Emmett slowly regains his health while learning the binding trade. He is forbidden to enter the locked room where books are stored, so he spends many months marbling end pages, tooling leather book covers, and gilding edges. But his curiosity is piqued by the people who come and go from the inner sanctum, and the arrival of the lordly Lucian Darnay, with whom he senses a connection, changes everything.
‘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
The Sunday Times Bestseller