I was thinking about this book the other day and I realized that I’ve never reviewed it. I decided immediately I needed to fix that. First of all, let me say that I think the synopsis makes this book sound a little more risqué than it really is. I thought this book might be graphic, but the friend that sent it to me promised it was a great book and I needed to read it, so I did. I’m glad too because I don’ t think I would have chosen to become a librarian if I hadn’t. This book led to my research into a career with books and that’s how I came across the MLIS degree and realized that was exactly the kind of thing I wanted to do.
Margot is a great character. She’s smart and clever. She goes through a lot of changes in this book. She goes through quite a bit of disappointment. I think this makes her a better and stronger person though and it was lovely to witness the transformation. Finding the book really changes her. She really buries herself in it, through both the practice of the sixteen pleasures and binding the book. By the time she’s rebound the book, it becomes almost a piece of art she’s made. It becomes a part of her.
Her relationship with the nuns is really one of my favorite parts of the book. I’ve never read a book with a nun in it and it’s very interesting to read about them, all the things they feel and think. One of them even explains some of the other nun’s stories and how they came to make their decision to become nuns.
I think Hellenga’s writing is excellent and the plot is very interesting. I’d never read anything about bookbinding before I read this book. After I finished, I checked out a few books about bookbinding and looked into it a little because I was curious. That’s how I found the book arts degree at the University of Alabama, the the MLIS program. I had been a little wary about the future I’d chosen in music history already. After I found a school nearby with a library science program, I immediately became interested and after some research I decided it was what I wanted to do.
I know this ended up being more about my decision to be a librarian than it was the book, but I just wanted to stress that this book is where it really started. I recommend the book. It’s a tad slow, but worth the read.