The Bookbinder Of Jericho, Pip Williams

The Bookbinder Of Jericho opening lines: Scraps. That’s all I got. Fragments that made no sense without the words before or the words after.

The Bookbinder Of Jericho

My blurb:

Peggy knows that her job is to bind the books, not read them. But that is her heart’s desire. To be able to read, and to study. However, she is tied into her life as a bookbinder. Not only because of where she was born, but because she cannot leave. Her twin sister Maude needs her. Or so she believes. But can the War redefine her future and make it something it should not mean to be?

The Bookbinder Of Jericho
‘Your job is to bind the books, not read them.’
When the men of Oxford University Press leave for the Western Front, Peggy, her twin sister Maude and their friends in the bookbindery must shoulder the burden at home. As Peggy moves between her narrowboat full of memories and the demands of the Press, her dreams of studying feel ever more remote. She must know her place, fold her pages and never stop to savour the precious words in front of her.
From volunteer nurses to refugees fleeing the horrors of occupation, the war brings women together from all walks of life, and with them some difficult choices for Peggy. New friends and lovers offer new opportunities, but they also make new demands – and Peggy must write her own story.
My verdict:

I loved every aspect of this book. From the intricacies of how books went from being printed pages to something one could hold and read. The description of life onboard a narrow boat. Details of studying at Oxford University. And all the parts of the War one would not normally talk about. If you are a booklover then this is a book for you!

About the Author:

Pip Williams was born in London, grew up in Sydney, and now lives in South Australia’s Adelaide Hills. Her debut novel,  The Dictionary of Lost Words,  was a New York Times bestseller and a Reese’s Book Club pick.  The Bookbinder  is her second novel.

Read an extract:


“Scraps. That’s all I got. Fragments that made no sense without the words before or the words after.

We were folding The Complete Works of William Shakespeare and I’d scanned the first page of the editor’s preface a hundred times. The last line on the page rang in my mind, incomplete and teasing. I have only ventured to deviate where it seemed to me that …

continue reading

Publishing information:
ISBN 9781784745196
Format Trade Paperback
Published July 2023

Penguin Random House South Africa sent me this novel to review.

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10 thoughts on “The Bookbinder Of Jericho, Pip Williams

  1. Lordie – I have not had time or money to read fiction for quite a while – but shall see about this one! A hugely interesting period in history, a Brit/Oz writer . . . . now living in one of my very favourite areas of Australia . . . . shall go alk the nerds at Booktopia . . . thanks!!!

  2. Here we go. let’s see if my comment goes thru this time 🙂 I was just saying (a few times) that we had this book for bookclub a few months back. We were divided on its merits.

      1. It was not really my cup of tea :=) But then again, I do read a lot of non-fiction so find literary fiction a bit hard to swallow.

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