The Bookbinder of Jericho by Pip Williams – Our Review
During the pandemic, many of us managed to make it through in no small part, by the power of books, ‘The Dictionary of Lost Words’ by Pip Williams was one such brilliant book which was loved by so many Australians.
‘The Bookbinder of Jericho’ has just been released and is an exciting companion book. Although both books can be read as a standalone, the incredible story in both makes them a truly worthy read as they share some common threads.
Set in 1914, as the men have been called to fight for freedom, the women remain behind and hold the country together.
Working at the Oxford University Press are twin sisters Peggy and Maude, who labour in the bindery department. Twins by birth, but not by personalities, Peggy has incredible dreams of studying at Oxford University, she is fiery, smart, and driven. Not at all accepting of her place in life, as a woman of her time.
While Maude is a timider and more sensitive young woman, underestimated by her quiet disposition she is no less brilliant, Maude might be described today as a person belonging to the neurodivergent community.
As refugees arrive in town from devasted parts of Europe, the sisters are confronted by the reality of war. Peggy lives in a world split between hopes and dreams of being recognised for her intellect, and being more than a book binder and yet the reality that she lives in a time where she is burdened by deep responsibility and expectations.
Together, we join the women in their story, becoming encompassed by their lives and work, as they navigate through uncertain seriously uncertain times.
What I love about Pip William’s writing, is her capacity to capture the stories of women throughout history. While this book is a work of fiction, it is impeccably researched and is influenced by many real places, people and stories making it a breathtaking experience.
Perfect for lovers of historical fiction, this is a fabulous read, a book that will take you back into a world that changed the trajectory of lives for so many of our ancestors.
Review by Lydia @ Great Escape Books