Pages in the Wind

Fiction - Thriller - General
400 Pages
Reviewed on 11/28/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I suppose you could say I was that shy little kid that spent a lot of time in my room dreaming, drawing, and writing. My father told me at a young age that I should be a psychologist because of my listening skills and curiosity. He passed away right after I finished high school but I never forgot his advise. Literature and writing called me, but my stories all have a psychological component. My goal is to weave psychology and fiction into a compelling narrative.

Pages in the Wind, my first novel, is a thriller. It has been endorsed by the psychiatric community as a great read for those interested in human emotion and surviving under seemingly impossible conditions. Through the eyes of a young girl, I take you into her life, exploring a maze of family secrets and abuse. Why? To find out why she killed her father. You’ll be taken through twists and turns, clues and lies, sifting through the wreckage of a life tainted by secrets. The character, Emily Quinn, dares you to understand her and to walk into her world. I don’t think you’ll be able to stop thinking about the book even after you’ve finished the story.

Talking about myself is not something I like to do. I’m more interested in you. If you decide to read any of my books, it would be my honor to hear from you. What did you get from the book? Did you identify with any of the characters?

Writing is an emotional experience for me, and there is always a little (or a lot) of me in my characters. When I started this writing journey, I told myself if one person was touched by the story…it would all be worth it.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Pages in the Wind is a psychological thriller novel written by Sally Saylor De Smet. Emily’s all-too-brief moment of calm as she drew the portrait of a young blond girl with waist-length hair was shattered by the impatient tones of the prison guard who was assigned to escort her up to the doctor’s office. Emily was still in shock over the fact that she was an inmate in the San Francisco County Jail on the charge that she had murdered her father. They said she had stabbed him repeatedly and that the two of them were found in the kitchen, but Emily couldn’t remember any of it. It had been two weeks now. Her brother hadn’t come to see her since she was imprisoned, and her mother had only called her once, speaking in impersonal and distant tones that chilled her. The fiance that she was told she had was somewhere in a boot camp training for his tour of duty in Vietnam. Added to that dismal reality was the constant reminder that she must neither cry nor show any signs of weakness. A nineteen-year-old innocent, she would be instant fodder for the more aggressive inmates if she displayed signs of weakness. Her mother had retained Dr. Daniel Lieberman to aid in her defense. He was a renowned forensic psychiatrist, and Emily thought his professional stature seemed at odds with the slight and rumpled figure she first beheld rummaging through papers in the drab, institutional green office where he would conduct their sessions. But he soon had her realizing that he was on her side, and his words, as he hypnotized her that first time, gave her a sorely-needed sense of tranquility and calm.

Who is Emily Quinn and how did she end up stabbing her much larger father to death? Sally Saylor De Smet’s psychological thriller novel, Pages in the Wind, follows the frightened and amnesiac young woman as she and her psychiatrist attempt to revive her life’s story through a sequence of hypnosis sessions. Emily’s tale takes place in the late fifties and sixties, which were a different time indeed when considering the parental right to discipline and exert total control over a child. That said, Emily’s early memories will leave the hardest hearts stunned and saddened as the young girl seeks again and again for love from her daddy and receives only physical abuse that becomes, at one point, a life-threatening assault.

Pages in the Wind is a riveting read; one I found quite impossible to step away from until I had read it through. Within its pages rests a first-rate psychological thriller and one of the most compelling coming of age stories I’ve read. De Smet’s writing style is haunting and delicious as her Emily narrates the marvelous episodes in her life as well as the most awful and nightmarish. Some passages shine so brightly; such as that describing Emily and Perry’s evening at his parents’ home. Others are sadly realistic in their starkness and brutality. Pages in the Wind is not just an impossibly good debut novel; it’s an outstanding work of literature and it’s most highly recommended.

Kris Moger

Pages In The Wind by Sally Saylor De Smet is a wonderful, suspenseful read. The story centers around Emily, a young girl trapped in a horrible nightmare of abuse and secrets. Dominated by her father, haunted by secrets and lost memories, and rejected by a cold mother lost in her own world, Emily longs for freedom. While death haunts her, life terrifies her with loss, suffering, and cold loneliness. But right when it looks like she might break free, love gets in the way, sending her down a path of darkness and certain tragedy that could destroy her and everyone she cares about.

In Pages In The Wind, Sally Saylor De Smet creates an adventure filled with terror, hope, and regret. The character of Emily is well done, coming alive with moments of youthful innocence, rash decisions, and raw honesty. Her journey is one of despair as she searches for love and understanding while trying to reconcile herself with a past she's not sure she wants to remember. Every moment of this story drives toward a desperate end that is both shocking and emotionally devastating. The tragedy of Emily's family is so real it almost seems too much to believe, but the darkness that drives desperate people goes to places one sometimes wishes only occurred in nightmares and dark stories. In all, Pages In The Wind is a journey I would easily recommend to anyone who likes page-turning, soul-searching tales that reveal the emotional path which leads to murder and redemption.