It was hard for me to make this my Violet square since I bought this on Ale’s recommendation (and their review photo shows the purple in the cover much better than mine – VS Ramachandran’s The Telltale Brain would have made a prettier rainbow, but we’re getting down to the wire and I can read fiction faster than nonfiction in most cases, so needs must). I was almost as charmed by the book as Ale, but I have to admit it was a slower burn for me (although I read it as quickly).
The book starts with Emmett Farmer having recovered from some terrible accident he doesn’t remember and being apprenticed to a “binder” who he finds out can take memories (unwanted for the scrupulous, coerced for the unscrupulous) and bind them into books for others to read or hide away. GEE I WONDER WHAT HAPPENED TO EMMETT.
But, after the initial 2 + 2 = 4 intro, the plot gets considerably more elegant. The nature of Emmett’s forgetting is much less interesting than what prompted it, and as the plot developed I found some legitimate surprises. It reminded me quite a bit of What Alice Forgot, in that both books treat recovering forgotten memories less as “gee I wonder what happened” but a rediscovery of the self, which at least to me is far more intriguing.
I mostly agree with Ale’s review, especially the note about wanting the book to keep going because the world Collins crafted was so enchanting, but wanted to express my frustration with the beginning – not because it was abysmal, but to encourage a reader who might not have been blown away to give it a chance to build. Definitely worth it.