The Binding by Bridget Collins
I just finished this book in audio and immediately ordered a physical copy to re-read as soon as it arrives. I loved this book in audio, but there was so much going on, I fear I missed things.
The premise: Imagine a world where books are actually bound memories. When something terrible happens, you visit a Binder and they magically transfer your memories to a book and lock it away, freeing you from living with those painful memories…for a fee of course. A good Binder has morals, is careful who and what they bind and the safety of the books is their top priority. But as is always true, not everyone is good. Binders are a mystery, they are feared for their power and revered for their abilities. A good Binder can be the answer to your prayers. However, a bad Binder may sell your books for others enjoyment, may offer to buy the wonderful memories of someone in financial straits, again for others enjoyment, and may not keep your secrets as secure as you might desire. Or, perish the thought, they may create fake books (aka, novels) to sell for some easy cash.
In The Binder, we meet Emmett Farmer, who learns that he was born with the calling of becoming a Binder. The book alternates between Emmett’s story and the story of Lucian Darnay, who belongs to the upper class family that owns Emmett’s family farm.
Throughout this story we learn more about Emmett and Lucian and the web of lies that brings them together and keeps them apart.
The fact that I am already planning to read this again just a week after finishing it, should suggest that if magical realism is a genre you enjoy, you should seriously consider picking up this book.