I think today I will start my review with a question-it feels appropriate somehow to me.
If you could have memories of your choosing taken from you and kept in a book hidden for the rest of your life, would you?
This book has got me thinking about what memories I’d want to “bind” and never have any knowledge of. Certainly there are things I have lived through as a younger person that I would ensure no other young person lives through or with, I feel that’s part of my maternal instinct as well as my experiences of the fall out of a situation, so I would keep those memories as they mould the way I steer my family and life in the future and how I guide them. However, the present day version of myself (who is having a bit of a rollercoaster of an emotional and bad time right now) would rather “bind” the pain that comes with living and learning through these situations; I know if I were to forget one thing it would likely have a knock-in effect on something else, so getting rid of the pain would be of more benefit to me personally.
Now The Binding sees a young lad being taken for an apprenticeship after a spell of severe illness that he believes has frightened his family and made him weak in their eyes. He goes to a strange old woman and is introduced to the trade of binding memories, this woman passes on so he is taken to continue his apprenticeship with her son (so he says) and discovers he himself has been bound.
Once Emmett releases (or unbinds) his memories held within his own book, troubles seem to begin as he pieces together that series of events that were let loose.
Emmett goes on to release the memories (or unbind) of the boy who was the cause of requirement to be bound in the first place (does this make sense?) and then we have the end.
The book starts with the lead-up to the apprenticeship, the recovered memories and the main bulk of the chapters are the bound memories being set free. The latter part of the book is the fall-out, where the second main character, Lucian Darnay, comes in to his own and we follow his life right up until the moments after his memories are returned to him.
Sounds complicated, and does start pretty slow BUT it is a book you need to stick with. It will honestly have you questioning yourself if you were given the option of binding (hence the review starting with a question to myself rather than getting stuck right in!).
What makes this read more accessible is the layout: there are three parts so you feel like you’re able to take a step back and digest what information you’ve been given and can accurately place yourself along the timeline.
Well written for a first adult novel, and well put together. I recommend this read and I look forward to seeing what Collins does next!