“The Bookbinder’s Daughter” by Jessica Thorne, Narrated by Charlie Norfolk #BookReview

Georgia Kostopoulou


Sophie has a job she likes and a relationship to come home to. She is a bookbinder, a very good one indeed and she was taught by her father. Times are not easy for her these days, as she had lost her mother years ago and only recently she lost her father too. She is glad to have someone like Victor to take care of her. Until one day, her uncle Edward arrives and offers her a dream job. A job at Ayredale Library. The Special Collection is a library that consists of the rarest books in the world and it is also the last place her bookbinder mother was seen alive. This strikes to Sophie as the perfect opportunity to work at a dream place while at the same time she has a chance to discover what actually happened to her mother.

Sophie used to live at Ayredale with her parents when she was little. They only left, after what happened to her mother. Which is something Sophie cannot really recall. So, when she returns, the Library seems to welcome her. Bit by bit, her memory of the place comes back to her as she meets with people she used to know from when she lived there, but also the Library itself. The strange thing is that the sense of being at home is very strong, to the point that Sophie believes the library sings to her. It’s as if it drags her to the depths of its mysteries, until she comes upon a carved door that resembles the pendant her mother left her. The pendant that seems to come to life when it is close to that very door.

I love the secrets of the past and the magical aspect of the book. Being a book lover, I couldn’t not appreciate the fact that the story evolves around a Library with magical aspects, one that holds the secrets of this world, one that offers the knowledge humanity now seems to possess. There was a mystery around the Library itself, how it was created, what secrets did it keep, what kind of languages the books are written in and who can actually read them. But there was also a mystery around the people living and working in the Library, that made it all the more interested.

I really liked the memory loss theme. It was not caused only as a post traumatic reaction, but it had its own root in the Library as well. Another theme that I liked was the overly controlling long time boyfriend, who was nothing more than a manipulator. In the beginning, Sophie only left Victor because of what she saw with her very own eyes and because she had somewhere to go. But as the story progresses, the shy and introvert protagonist, finds herself and the strength to keep toxic people out of her life.

The narration was a big plus for this story. Charlie Norfolk did a wonderful job bringing every character to life. It was very easy to understand the characters speaking every time, as they sounded so very different. Her reading added to the atmosphere that the book already created, making the audiobook even more appealing. I highly recommend the audiobook, if you like having someone else read a book for you.

The Bookbinder’s Daughter comes out in September 20, so go grab your copy now!

Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture Audio for the opportunity to listen and review this audiobook. The views expressed are my personal and honest opinion.


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