Pages in the Wind by Sally Saylor De Smet


“I poked my skin, trying to recover the sensations in my face. I felt like a refugee, looking for a sanctuary. But jail was not a sanctuary. Jail gave the world a sanctuary from me.”

— Sally Saylor De Smet, Pages in the Wind

          Emily Quinn is a young adult serving time for a crime she does not remember. Knowing it was her own father that met Death doesn’t help her reconstruct the puzzle that her life was though. Pages in the Wind is a riveting psychological thriller of a girl plunged in secrets since the first tragic incident in her childhood. While facing the inevitable life-sentence in a prison cell, she’s appointed to a psychiatrist with whom she’s to carry out a 10 session hypnosis therapy. It is through his help that she is soon to uncover the deep dark secrets that has been haunting her. Sally Saylor De Smet puts forth a captivating tale that is bound to get you emotionally engaged throughout the story.


“I continued to stare at my lap, pulled down by the weight of my own words. The truth wasn’t a cry for help or the introduction to a discussion. I didn’t want pity and talking would only prolong the agony. I answered his question and stuck the truth out like my heart of a stake. But now, I wanted to forget it.”

— Sally Saylor De Smet, Pages in the Wind

          There’s no doubt that this novel portrayed Emily and her child development with crystal clear quality. The story is built like a timeline that needs to be filled up. The present shows an empty-shelled girl building a relationship with her psychiatrist in order to discover the events that led up to the murder. The past consists of all the adventures in the form of memories that the psychiatrist helps Emily remember. The future is a promise that they both seek to establish as a ray of light, hope and change. The structure is very simple and easy to follow, which instigates reader to progress restlessly. However, I did feel like the relationship between doctor and patient wasn’t explored enough. To top it off, I would’ve liked to see the whole hypnosis treatment a little more flawed since it was almost depicted as a near perfect method to recall memories. This might just be my more skeptical side of hypnosis and the power of suggestibility, but I’ll give this a little pass since it was still a work of fiction that served a purpose in story-telling.


“You had no identity because you rejected the identity your father gave you. You were a lost child clawing your way out of the darkness.”

— Sally Saylor De Smet, Pages in the Wind

          Character development was without a doubt, on point. Emily Quinn went from an innocent joyful girl to a stress-filled adolescent that needed to adapt to her environment. Watching her grow and live through the things she faces is bound to tie your stomach and flip your heart upside-down. Her childhood was far from being perfect, although she allowed herself to show such a portrait to others. All in the name of normality. An abusive father and an emotionally distant mother aren’t a great recipe for a great childhood after all. It is through care and love from her brother and friends that she manages to see light worth holding on to. Might I add that her parents are characters that truly dig into the depths of your soul until you crave a need to pounce at them and show them what care, kindness and humanity is all about. Or, maybe just give them a piece of their own medicine.


“The mind generates what you think about. If your thoughts are full of negativity, you will create negativity in your life. Take the time to meditate, and once you become calm you will become mindful, which will lead to the awareness you are seeking.”

— Sally Saylor De Smet, Pages in the Wind

          Very well-written and filled with surprises, Pages in the Wind portrays Emily Quinn with great details. Her moments of joy and especially those of darkness are described meticulously and bolster this psychological thriller. It goes without saying that a child’s life is in the hands of every person he or she encounters. And parents? Even more indispensable than air to us. This novel delivers a stunning story of a child who’s growth was hindered by parents blinded by tragedy. The plot also serves a bunch of plot twists to keep you intrigued, especially the last one. Although, I did see a great deal of the final events coming, I still thought the book ended with the right message. It would’ve been nice to have secondary characters with more depth, notably Reid (Emily’s best friend) who seems to have been a little too blind to reality.

          As always, don’t forget to share your thoughts on this novel and this review, as well as like and follow us as we continue to get you guys reviews to enjoy. So what are you waiting for? If you’re interested in this story arc, you can purchase a copy of Pages in the Wind by clicking on this hyperlink !

My overall rating: ★★★★☆/

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4 thoughts on “Pages in the Wind by Sally Saylor De Smet

  1. I found this book on Goodreads and read it straight through. As a woman, I related to the character of Emily and her issues with family. I loved the inner dialogue, it felt very personal and drew me into the story. The relationship with the doctor I thought was tender without being over the top. It’s the kind of book that will stay with me, one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true that Emily’s story, thanks to the writing, can make readers easily attached to the character. Glad to hear you thoroughly enjoyed the novel! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts too, it’s pretty awesome to hear other people’s thought on less popular novels. 😀

      – Lashaan


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