Imagine you could remove pain.
Imagine you could hide the darkest, most horrifying secret.
Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder—a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice among their small community but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.
For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to hand-craft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed and the past is locked away. In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, rows upon rows of books are meticulously stored.
But while Seredith is an artisan, there are others of their kind, avaricious and amoral tradesman who use their talents for dark ends—and just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: one of the books has his name on it. Soon, everything he thought he understood about his life will be dramatically rewritten.
I mean, isn't it just eye appealing in design, color palette, and font? Okay, well to ME it was, so when I first read about this one online, my interest was peaked. Now, as for the reading...
As for the writing, the author was able to draw you into the past and back to the present with such fluidity, were it not for the change in tone or character voicing the chapters, you'd never realize the journey you've actually taken. The characters she created were STRIKING and MEMORABLE, even when they were suppose to fade into nothingness. The power of the written word is definitely on full display here, as are the consequences that go along with hiding away our true selves, or even giving our truths over to someone else fully without baring the weight of any of the lessons learned from them.
All in all, I gotta say this was definitely an INTENSE, UNUSUAL, UNEXPECTED, and CURIOUS read. It's a story that certainly makes you think twice about what you put down on paper, and reconsider the memories we choose to hold on to versus release and vice versa...as well as the WHY. My only real complaint with the book was that ONE SCENE...it involved the killing of a dog and in my opinion was too much, too far, and not necessary...or at the very least the details included could have been more general where it let us know it happened, but lacked the black and white confirmation...and I mean it was enough to make we second guess if I would have read the book knowing it was in it. What can I say, I'm an animal lover and it just didn't sit right with me. (That scene was more of a reason for having a binding done than any other!) Otherwise, I was good...thoroughly surprised since it wasn't anything like what I thought it would be, but still good. So, do I recommend it? Yes...just go in being warned about that one scene, so you can either bulldoze through it, or skip the page.