Spring will always follow Winter.
Misty doesn’t know who she is. Nineteen years old, she’s trapped inside who she has been, with no idea who she could be.
When she goes to Mill’s End to take care of her stubborn, book-loving grandmother, she finds herself torn between past and present. The answer to who she is lies hidden in her grandmother’s library. Her path to find herself takes her through the fading pages of dusty books and the memories of a woman who has lived a full life. It is up to Misty to write the final chapter to the dearest story of them all.
Through the Pages read like a Hallmark movie, and, fortunately, I have a soft spot for Hallmark movies. It’s sweet, predictable, follows the basic plot formula of: Girl with no purpose moves to a country town, meets a challenging friend/family member, learns important life lessons, and finds her purpose, all while falling in love with a sweet country boy. I think the thing that draws me to these stories most is a combination of the characters and the whimsy of the setting, and that was no different in Through the Pages. The characters, while simple, are endearing. Misty herself wasn’t my favorite, but it’s common for the main character to not be my favorite so I don’t think that was necessarily an issue with Annie’s writing.
I did think that character development and character relationships were rushed in a lot of places. Misty’s emotions tend to ping-pong, especially at the beginning, and I saw a lot of conflicting feelings more than a smooth progression. Obviously having the change be too smooth and agreeable would be unrealistic, but I think Misty’s character arc needed some refinement.
The timeline in this book is rather rushed through, which works most of the time and fits the story, but I feel like we lost some vital relationship growth and individual character growth through the timeline gaps. If we’d been able to see the character growth that happened in between it would have been fine, but it seemed like the characters’ arcs didn’t progress during the weeks and months that were skipped and we were just thrust back into the same struggles they’d had before.
The setting of Mill’s End, however, was wonderful. Particularly in the first half, as we were becoming familiar with the town alongside Misty, it had a great whimsical feel to it and I loved the details that went into that. Misty’s first date was probably my favorite section; the Lakeside Diner really caught my attention and made me wish I could go to a small town for a while and enjoy the peace and quiet and community.
Overall, the characters and setting were enough for me to enjoy this book a lot even though I would have preferred more depth in the character development. The overall themes were good, and I consider Through the Pages a four-star book.
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About the Author
Annie Louise Twitchell is a homeschool graduate who is obsessed with dragons and fairy tales. She enjoys reading, writing, poetry, and many forms of art. When she’s not writing, she can often be found reading out loud to her cat, rabbit, and houseplants, or wandering barefoot in the area around her Western Maine home. In addition to seven published works, she has several poetry awards and pieces in four anthologies.