Book Review

The Bookbinder’s Daughter – Jessica Thorne

Happy publication day to Jessica Thorne and her latest book, The Bookbinder’s Daughter. Many thanks to Jessica and to Bookouture for my copy of the book, which I received via NetGalley.

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.’

An absolutely spellbinding read about long-hidden family secrets and the magic that lurks between the pages of every ancient book. Perfect for fans of The Ten Thousand Doors of January, The Night Circus and The Binding.


I find it hard to resist a book about a library, and when it is a magical library, then I am 100% sold! Jessica Thorne’s wonderfully imaginative creation is a library like no other, and once I stepped through it’s doors with Sophie, I knew I never wanted to leave.

The library is an ever changing beast, sometimes delightfully mysterious, other times dark and sinister. The inhabitants of the library are equally enigmatic. From vibrant Tia, to Titivillus, the library cat, there is more to uncover about each and every character than initially meets the eye. In particular for me, it was love at first sight with Will, and I was eager to uncover his secrets..

I have always wanted to try my hand at book binding and a job restoring damaged books in a mysterious library sounds like heaven. I would love to see the Mortlake grimoire, it sounds so beautiful, not to mention all of the other shelves full of rare books house within the library.

The mention of Elias Ashmole and the School of Night put me instantly in mind of one of my favourite book series, the All Souls Trilogy, and made me hopeful I would love this book just as much.  Deborah Harkness is a tough act to follow, but luckily Jessica Thorne did not disappoint (having read some of her previous work, I was confident this would be the case). I feel like there is a lot more to come from the library, and I am hopeful for a follow up book soon!

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