“YOU GET THIS SENSE THEY ARE COMPLETELY STUCK. SOMETIMES YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE REINFORCING THE TRAUMA BY LISTENING TO IT AGAIN.”
Emmett’s mistress is an artisan but he encounters a cast of characters with darker, more ambiguous motives.
When Emmett discovers a book with his own name on it, it will change the course of his life.
Early reviewers have praised the originality of the concept, which is part mystery, part love story and part fable, but the idea is grounded in Bridget’s own experiences.
“I started bookbinding classes because writers lead a solitary life and I decided I needed to get out and meet people,” she says.
“Most people would get away from books but I enjoy the craft of it, working with my hands, materials and tools when I work so much in my head.”
The art of bookbinding is little changed over the centuries, leading a fertile mind such as Bridget’s to imagine the life of a bookbinding apprentice.
The second seed of the idea came from her volunteer work with the Samaritans, a telephone crisis service similar to that offered by Lifeline in Australia.
“It’s a great privilege to talk to people and listen to them tell their stories,” she says.
“After a while, you begin to speak to the same people and they tell the same traumatic story over again.
“You get this sense they are completely stuck. Sometimes you feel like you are reinforcing the trauma by listening to it again.
“I started to think if I could just reach out and take that memory away, they could start again.”
Bridget describes The Binding as ultimately a story about love and kindness — in the end a love story of the kind she loves to tell.
She is now editing the manuscript of the second book in her two-book publishing deal. It is not a sequel but she says she’s noticed the same themes running through it, only on a much bigger canvas.
As for her acting ambitions, Bridget has reconciled that it probably won’t be her career now but she still experiences the joy of acting through amateur productions.
“I think I’ve made my peace with that now,” she says.
No doubt many of her new readers will be very happy to hear it. Would you like to win a copy of Bridget Collins’ The Binding? We have partnered with HarperCollins to give away 50 copies of the new novel. For your chance to win, email week[email protected]regionalmedia.com.au with Book Club — The Binding competition in the subject line. In the body of the email, add your name, mailing address (including suburb and postcode) and consent to share your details with HarperCollins so they can mail out the book to you if you are a winner. By entering this competition, contestants are aware that if selected as a winner, their personal information will be provided to HarperCollins for the purposes of sending them their prize only. Terms and conditions are available at this newspaper’s website.