The Bookbinder’s Daughter by Jessica Thorne

Published:September 20th 2021


Length: 248 pages

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐✨


The song surrounded her now, the murmuring of the library insistent, and her foot took the first step on the winding stairs. She knew it wasn’t entirely a dream. It was the library calling her, its magic driving her.

When Sophie is offered a job at the Ayredale Library – the finest collection of rare books in the world, and the last place her bookbinder mother was seen when Sophie was just a teenager – she leaps at the chance. Will she finally discover what happened to the woman she’s always believed abandoned her?

Taking in the endless shelves of antique books, the soaring stained-glass windows, and the grand sweeping staircase, usually shy Sophie feels strangely at home, and is welcomed by her eccentric fellow binders. But why is the Keeper of the Library so reluctant to speak about Sophie’s mother? And why is Sophie the only person who can read the strange spells in the oldest books on display, written in a forgotten language nobody else understands?

The mysteries of the library only deepen when Sophie stumbles upon an elaborately carved door. The pattern exactly matches the pendant her mother left behind years ago, engraved with a delicate leaf. As the door swings open at her touch, Sophie gasps at the incredible sight: an enormous tree, impossibly growing higher than the library itself, its gently falling golden leaves somehow resembling the pages of a book. Amidst their rustling, Sophie hears a familiar whisper…

‘There you are, my Sophie. I knew you’d come back for me.’

My Review:

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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