Reviewed by me for Reader’s Favorite.
Renay Jordan, the author, has explored the life beyond the boundaries of rights and wrongs in The Pages in Between – A story of love, life & cocktails. Lilah and Isabel are best friends. Lilah is a thirty-seven-year-old woman and has four kids: Ben, Michael, Veronica, and Maria. On the surface, her life seems perfect. Her husband loves her dearly, and she has a loving mother, who is just a call away to help her. However, Isabel knows the real story of her life. Lilah is depressed and is going through periods of highs and lows — mostly, lows. Her kids — three of whom are teenagers now — have witnessed their mother’s lows most of their lives. Isabel is a caring friend who knows how to take care of her friend. She pulls her hair when needed and pampers her with her cocktails all the time. She is an expert in coming up with the most extraordinary recipes of cocktails. No wonder, they have a happy hour every day. The monotonous life changes when Lilah finds herself deeply attracted toward one of her sons’ friend, Tristan. She knows how complex and wrong this infatuation is, but she cannot resist the temptation. While Isabel tries to prevent the inevitable chaos, Tristan and Lilah throw all the caution out the window and surrender themselves to the bait.
The author has been more than creative in defining the rights and wrongs of a relationship. Although her ideas may seem outrageous to some, open-minded readers would find themselves wondering if the author has found some sort of hidden wisdom. Relationships become monotonous after a while and couples find themselves following the same pattern every day. On one hand, this routine provides comfort to a set of people, another set of souls dread the monotonicity. This dread forces them to test the elasticity of the rules of the relationships. To their dismay, they soon realize not all rules can be bent. Isabel and Lilah fall under the latter set. They do not follow rules and try to keep their fire alive by bending certain rules. They, of course, do not reveal their expeditions to their families, but they both remain partners in such crimes always. Their actions may seem bizarre to a majority of the readers, but I could understand their motivation behind doing what they did. Their friendship is truly inspiring. Isabel worries about Lilah’s life more than that of herself.
Renay Jordan knows how to tell a story. She does not write conversations that are only relevant to the plot; rather, she keeps them realistic. Isabel and Lilah talk to each other exactly how you would imagine two long-term friends’ conversation. They mock, irritate, comfort, and anger each other. Their bond is stronger than any trouble that life might throw at them. Beyond friendship, the plot is filled with a romance that would send you daydreaming, moral challenges that would make you open your scriptures and scratch your head, parenting troubles that would definitely remind of your own troubles as a parent if you are a parent, and sexual scenes that are sure to make you crave for the same experiences. While reading The Pages in Between, I found myself involved in their lives. I wanted to see Lilah happy, I wished for Isabel to be my friend, and I couldn’t help but find myself attracted toward Tristan. Side characters did not fail to make an impact, as well. They are all strong characters and as a reader, I connected with all of them.
I would recommend this book to the readers who love romance, sex, intriguing plots, moral dilemma, and cocktails. In my eyes, this story is flawless. There are not many errors, but one round of proofreading would make the reading experience absolutely perfect.