From the bestselling author of The Dictionary of Lost Words, The Bookbinder of Jericho is the latest book written by Pip Williams.
This is a beautifully written novel, I just loved it from the very beginning, and I hope you will too.
The year is 1914 and as the war draws to a close, with the young men of Britain sent away to fight, the women must keep the nation running. Two of these women are Peggy and Maude, twin sisters who live on a narrowboat in Oxford and work in the bindery at the Oxford University Press.
Peggy is an intelligent woman who has been told for most of her life that her job is to bind the books, but not to read them. However, as she folds and gathers pages her mind wanders to Somerville College nearby where the female students have a whole library at their fingertips.
Maude, meanwhile, wants nothing more than what she has: to spend her days folding pages in the company of the other bindery girls. She is extraordinary but vulnerable, and Peggy feels obliged to watch over her.
WW1 breaks out and refugees arrive from Belgium sending ripples around the Oxford community and into the sister’s lives. Peggy begins to see the possibility of another future where she can re-educate herself and she must choose between marriage and the life of a university student.
“The Bookbinder of Jericho” is a wonderful novel representing working-class women and their lives during and after the war. Pip Williams thoroughly explores another slice of history through women’s eyes.
I certainly recommend it.