Review of The Binding by Bridget Collins

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The Binding by Bridget Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love it when I pick up a book from my TBR pile, having forgotten the reason why I bought it in the first place, and delve in with no expectations. I love it even more when the book is captivating, rich in detail, beautifully written with a story that grabs you by the throat and does not let go until you have reached the end. The Binding is one such book.

The underlying premise behind the story was intriguing: what if it were possible to bind a painful memory into the pages of a book, so that you were free to live your life without that memory haunting you? But what if the memory is one that you would rather remember, or need to remember in order to find happiness. Threads of memories bound into stories is what the art of fiction is all about, and this book reminds us that stories are at the heart of human experience. Without those stories, something inside us is missing.

Written in three parts, the shifting character and temporal points of view are skilfully weaved into the narrative to ramp up the tension and the suspense, with what we understand about the characters being challenged as we read, forcing us to consider the possibilities in different ways.

The book also made a number of observations on human nature, the way in which a person learns to cope with the misery and unhappiness in their lives. Some choose to blot out the memories, others choose not to see. In the book, Lucian’s mother perfects the art of not seeing her husband’s frequent infidelities, his cruelties and his meanness. Is this any different to binding a memory. Does it free you or does it trap you? Maybe I was seeing too much when so much is hidden, but however deeply you choose to fall into this book, whichever way you approach it, it is a cracking good read.

View all my reviews

Published by Deborah Siddoway

Dickens enthusiast, book lover, wine drinker, writer, lover of all things Victorian, and happily divorced mother of two lovely (and very tall) boys.

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