Cover Image: The Bookbinder's Daughter

The Bookbinder's Daughter

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Member Reviews

A fantasical and whimsical dark read. As a reader you learn along side Sophie as she begins to remember and learn new things about Ayredale Library. I found Sophie to be a slightly irritating protagonist but in all honesty her flaws just made her seem more real!
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An amazing story beautifully told. It had me laughing, crying, and begging for more. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is looking for something a little different and wants a book with all the feels.
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Sophie is a lonely woman but doing a job she loves.  She has a boyfriend but he’s controlling and not the nicest.  When she receives a mysterious letter one day little does she realise that her life is about to change……

Offered a job at Ayredale Library, the Special Collections library where her parents worked and where she grew up as a child, Sophie feels the need to accept.  Not only because of that but because it’s the last place her Mother was seen…..Will this job help her discover what really happened to her? As she returns she finds all sorts of memories coming back to her….. And when a book shuffles the words around and she’s able to read them, but apparently no-one else can, she realises there might be magic in the air.  But what is the real reason she’s returned to this place that she feels is home? Who can she trust? And will she discover the truth to her Mother’s disappearance?

I absolutely fell in love with this book from page one, and by a few chapters in I knew this was going to be one of my favourite books of the year.  It’s full of books and magic, set in a beautiful and mysterious library – what more could I ask for?!

The characters are brilliant.  Sophie is quiet and timid at the beginning and has been downtrodden by her ex, Victor.  But as she settles into the library, she starts to come out of herself….. The other characters in the library are all very mysterious and I don’t want to say much about anyone else.  Everyone has a history and everyone has secrets – and you’ll love every second of watching them unravel…..

The setting is fantastic.  If you’re a book lover you will absolutely love it (and let’s be honest, if you’re reading this then you are!).  It’s huge, beautiful and magical and all I wanted to do was be there with Sophie!

The plot is brilliant.  It slowly unravels and keeps you drawn in to the mystery and suspense.  You’ll wonder who you can trust and what will happen next.  The writing is beautiful and just adds to the absolutely spellbinding read.  Reading this I got vibes of Percy Jackson and A Discovery of Witches (both of which I love) so if you’re fan of them you will love this.  This comes highly recommended by me, and as I said is easily up there with one of my favourites of 2021……now go and order it!
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Thank you to Netgalley, the publishing house and the author for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of this book in return for a review based upon my honest opinion.

Sophie Lawrence's mother disappeared when she was a teen at her mother's family estate, her father removed her and never allowed her to look back, raising her alone.  Sophie's father has now passed and she is alone for the first time, except for super controlling boyfriend, Victor.  As Sophie heads back to work as a book binder, she is met by her uncle, Edward whom she has not seen since her mother disappeared.  Edward brings her a job offer from the family business, a most prestigous library, to be a binder for them. Sophie doesn't know what to do but ends up taking the job when she sees Victor's true colours.  Returning to her home after so many years away is a frightening thought, especially since she has no memories from her childhood.  

As Sophoie settles in to her new role, her memories come in spurts and she becomes aware that the library is more than just a building, that it is an entity.  Then Sophie discovers that her dreams of a magical tree ave not been dreams at all but memories.  Sophie reconnects with her childhood friend, Will, and first love, is there still a spark between them and what exactly is it with Will that is different.

This is the first book I have read by this author, I will check out further works.  I liked the way the story was told and the characters were interesting and brought to life well.  I did feel that some of Sophie's choices made no sense, but the excuse of her youth made that okay.  There were a few twists that were surprising and I enjoyed the way the story ended.  Well worth a read.
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Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this book for an honest review.

I was getting a little disillusioned with this book, or more precisely, with Sophie, the heroine. She just seemed to fall into line, particularly when challenged by men. But she, thankfully, redeemed herself and the book!!
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This was a very interesting read.  I loved the description of the bookbinding process, my best friend was a bookbinder which is what drew me to the story.  It was a beautifully written story and I enjoyed how it unfolded and the twists and turns.  It was something a little different for me.
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I requested this book because I saw it a few times on bookstagram and the cover is gorgeous. I love the idea of the magical library. it was a bit slow at first, but then it picked up and got more exciting towards the ending. Funny thing, I requested the E-book, forgot about it while waiting for the approval and then I requested the audiobook, so that was a win win, I loved the narrator. 

Thank you @netgalley & @bookouture for this arc in exchange for an honest review 💕
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I love a book set in a library, make it a magical library and I can't wait to get my hands on it. 

This book had potential but I feel it was overwhelmed by characters. All of whom had their own backstory and plot points that I felt everything became rushed at the end. There wasnt enough development for me to actually care what happened to them. Some characters pop in and out and are actually central to the overall plot but they just appear at random.

There was limited time spent on world building. I wanted to know more about this world and this library in particular but so much is left unknown. It was frustrating. 

Overall I was underwhelmed by this read. It was okay but I've certainly read better.

I received an arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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3.5****

Sophie Lawrence is a bookbinder. She’s lost, is with an emotionally manipulative partner, and her dad has recently died. Her mother disappeared when she was 15. She also suffers from very weird dreams and memory loss from t he  first 15 years of her life. Her bookbinding is her only sanctuary, until one day, her Uncle Talbot offers her an exclusive job at Ayrnedale Special Collection library and within their Sophie sets out to discover the truth about her mother’s disappearance, her missing memories, and some magic.

This book was highly whimsical, a small dose of fantasy and mythology too! With amazing descriptions of the library and some magic too. This is definitely a book to read if you love enchanted libraries.

This book held some really fascinating ideas and the last 20% I was trying to speed through the book. However, the plot to begin with didn’t have me gripped to the book and I found myself getting exasperated with the mc’s naivety at some points, or certain decisions she makes.

This book is definitely for those who enjoyed A Discovery of Witches and Sorcery of Thorns!

Thank you to NetGalley for the free ARC!
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The Bookbinder's Daughter is an atmospheric YA/NA fantasy/romance by Jessica Thorne. Released 20th Sept 2021, it's 248 pages and is available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

This is an engaging and well written romance/fantasy. The author has quite a lot to say about bullying, entitlement, elitism, and the meaning of honesty, integrity, and family. Protagonist Sophie has a personal history of submissiveness and passivity after personal tragedy has left her with post-traumatic holes in her memory. Several current crises cast her into a new professional life back at the scene of her earlier trauma. 

The character development and plotting were a bit two dimensional and linear in most places. There weren't a lot of deviations or alternative subplot stories to explore. The antagonists were -completely- irredeemable and the protagonists were paragons. The dialogue was often wrought (not cringe-worthy, but definitely stilted) and I found myself being yanked out of my suspension of disbelief not infrequently. On the other hand, I'm not the target audience (I found my way in via the "biblio-fantasy" door, not the clearly marked romance one). Readers who appreciate fresh, well written YA/NA romance will find a lot to like here; especially readers who really enjoy a healthy dose of draaama with their stories. I, on the other hand, found myself wanting to shake some of the characters. 

Three and a half stars, rounded up for technically adept writing and an engaging premise.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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This book had me at “magic library,” but I don’t think he magic was quite enough.  The cast of characters had potential but did not reach what I thought their potential was.   The main narrator Sophie was very hard to relate to.  What kind of person finds themselves at a magic library and doesn’t get even a little bit excited??  I thought there was a lot of potential in this one, but I had expected and hoped for more. I did really like Will’s character, actually out of all of them he was the only one I completely just liked.  Sophie and her parents used to live at the Special Collection library.  Until one day something terrible happened and her mother disappeared.  She had a mental break and her father took her away from the library and refused to speak of it again.  Sophie is just getting over her father’s death and getting back to life at a job she loves and her boyfriend (who quite obviously is using her).  A mysterious uncle she hasn’t seen since she was a child comes and makes her another offer and she finds herself returning to the Special Collection.
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This book was just okay for me.  I wasn't a fan of the main character.  She was just so content to let other decide things for her it bothered me.  I wish the magic of the library was expressed in a different way.  It felt like the library was very victorian and was completely out of touch with the modern world.
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I read the other reviews but I am going to have to respectfully disagree. First of all the writing rubbed me the wrong way from the beginning. It made me think the book had a setting of a hundreds years ago. Where is the world building and why is there this huge focus on their obvious insta love? He’s never felt this way for anyone but her yeeeeeet he never tried to track her down? In an age of blogs, websites and social media where everyone is a google search away? Not buying it. Sophie is my least favorite type of character. Fragile, scared of everyone and everything but somehow, some way is theeee chosen one. The only one who possess some gift blah, blah, blah. She’s nearly 30 years old but some how has never really looked into her mother’s death and was perfectly happy to accept her father’s excuse to just leave it alone. Now she wants answers. 

Sure. 

At this point I have to draw a line. The premise is awesome. Tree of life, magic, sparkling leaves. Yes, sign me up. But meek, fragile, I’m-afraid-of-everything, I-need-to be-rescued characters are 100% a no for me. Please, please don’t tell me that this is what we are headed towards again. We’ve come so far with creating characters that find their strength in themselves, not magic or love. There is nothing wrong with flawed characters but we need to see a development in their growth. Sadly, there is none of that in this book and I won’t overlook that fact no matter how cool the magic is. Two stars for the awesome magic elements,  zero stars for the perpetual damsel in distress MC syndrome.
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Unfortunately, I didn't finish this book. I was so bored and I realized that I wasn't enjoying it at all. I'm trying to be more intentional about DNF'ing books since life seems too short to be reading books I don't like.

This unfortunately felt like a draft to a novel. I was confused about the events most of the time and couldn't understand WHY things were happening. Even though the mystery made me intrigued at first, I'm not invested enough to keep reading. Another thing that was bothering me was... narration style making it feel like it's set in 1800s while it was apparently modern day? Very hard to explain but realizing that technology exists was a shock for me. I liked how Sophie reacted to her toxic man's actions. I don't think I'll ever come back to this story, since it's taking me a very long time to read while being very short.

Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
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This book had all the elements that first enthrall me to start reading: a library, some magic, and eccentric characters. This book ended up taking me longer to read because of the realness that I felt from the manipulation of the main characters action from every person’s opinion but her own. 

I don’t think this will be a book that I pick up again, but it won’t be a book that I wouldn’t recommend to other bibliophiles looking for their own magical libraries.
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Why do we have libraries?

Some say that libraries serve as gateways to knowledge and culture that support learning,  innovation,  and creativity.  In Bookbinder's Daughter, Jessica Thorne, the author, conceives a story about the role of libraries in our society with a magical twist. It's my first time reading this kind of story and I couldn't stop myself from reading on until I find out the connection of the enigmatic Ayredale Library to a possible apocalypse triggered by selfishness and greed of some people working in this library.  

The main character is unforgettable and relatable. Sophie's love for her mother and struggle with depression and trauma caused by the disappearance of her mother who was a bookbinder in Ayredale make me root for her.  Relief washed over me when her elusive childhood memories gradually returned to her as she worked at the library. Her courage and sacrifice, in the end, kindled my appreciation of maternal and familial love. 

The most exciting part for me is the revelation of the power that the library possesses through one of the characters whom I didn't expect to be the conduit of apocalyptic magic.  The descriptions of the images and the sound carried me to that scene, invoking the emotions of awe and fear. The effects they have on me are still the same even on the second or third reading. Experiencing as if what I am reading is real is the reason why I love sci-fi and fantasy stories and The Bookbinder's Daughter is one of the best I've read so far. 

Thank you, Jessica Thorne, Bookouture, and NetGalley for the ARC (ebook and audiobook) in exchange for an honest review. 

4.5/5
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This book was pure magic!  Well written, immersive, character driven, entertaining, and made me want more.
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Sophie lives with her controlling boyfriend and works as a book restorer, until her uncle offers her a prestigious job at his library, which houses some of the rarest and most ancient books in the world, and she finds impetus suddenly to leave him. On arriving at the library, she begins to recover memories from her past - when she was a teenager growing up there with her parents, and her mother disappeared. Sophie is keen to understand what happened back when she was fifteen, but there are other concerns too as the various personalities within the library hierarchy all have different ideas of which way this repository of knowledge should be heading, and some of them could be dangerous.

There is something about this book that makes it read like a YA novel, although the occasional swears and mild sexual content suggest that it is probably aimed at adults. There's an earnestness about it, the magic is taken for granted and never explained. It took me a little while to get into the story, but once I did, I really enjoyed it. I like that the story is all neatly wrapped up in one volume rather than extending into an unnecessary series, and I probably shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but there is something about the cover that I really like!

With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
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I loved reading this book. the whole idea of the bookbinding situation was a good one. The characters were developed well and the interest was also maintained in the story line and the development of the story, excellent read.
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Sophie leads a quiet life dominated by her job and her magnetic boyfriend. That is until an invitation to work for the world famous Ayredale Library shows up at her door. Suddenly her traumatic past, much of it forgotten until now, makes its dramatic entrance. Her acceptance leads her back to where she started, a place of endings and beginnings. A place where love and friendship defined her and just as quickly disappeared. The question this time though is, who is she really and what will she become?  With vivid, colorful strokes, Jessica Thorne introduces readers to a new type of librarian in the Bookbinder's Daughter. At once as fantastic as it is enjoyable, this book offers a vivid peek into a magical library where the books have more than one story to tell and the story within the story leaves readers guessing until the very end. An enjoyable novel for readers everywhere.
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