Frolicking in the sun, hazy summer days and light nights, they bring joy to so many, including all the members of my immediate family. Me, well I’m missing that gene it seems, as I long for velvety, dark skies outside my window, the soundtrack of rain hitting the pane, a cuppa in hand as I’m tucked under a blanket reading a book. I also save books for Autumn/Winter reading, I’ll get certain novels and just think ‘this needs to be kept for the perfect reading conditions’. These tend to be my most favourite reads. Well, I have recently came across a book that not only fits the bill but exceeds it, I would like to give a real literary description here but what I want to actually say is it is just gorgeously perfect.
Anna James, book wonder, has just had her debut novel published and I knew it would be good but I didn’t expect to fall so deeply in love with it! ‘Pages & Co: Tilly and the Bookwanderers’ is the first instalment of a trilogy in which we meet Tilly, who lives in a bookshop which is that of all bibliophiles dreams, full of nooks, crannies and delicious sweet treats (all concoctions based on those found in some of our favourite stories, Moonfaces toffee shocks and pop cakes anyone?)
The shop, Pages & Co, is run by our young heroines Grandma and Grandpa, who have cared for her since her mother disappeared after her birth. The love of all things bookish runs strong in this family and Tilly fills all her time outside of school reading in her favourite spot or helping out her grandparents in the shop. Things are ticking along as usual when some rather different visitors pop in and begin chatting to Tilly, they seem very familiar to her…infact, it’s as if they’ve walked straight out of her favourite novels. In surprise she welcomes to her world Anne (with an ‘e’) of Green Gables and Alice, just back from Wonderland. As if meeting these two wasn’t strange enough, she soon realises that she is the only one who can see them. As she befriends Anne and Alice they reveal to her that not only can they find their way out of their stories and into Pages & Co, they can transport Tilly back with them, so she disappears into the pages of her beloved books. Both delighted and shocked, on her return from a certain Madhatters Tea Party, she questions her grandparents on what is happening and soon learns that ‘bookwandering’ is something that can happen to only the truest of bookworms, those who get totally lost within a story, to the extent that they think, and even talk to characters, in day to day life.
As Tilly explores her new skill she soon finds that bookwandering may hold dangers she could never have anticipated and she begins to question all that she has believed about her past. As a dubious figure begins to follow her into each story, events are set in motion that cause turmoil not only for her but those she loves.
I adore fiction that celebrates the love of books and I was utterly charmed by characters that I hold dear popping up to see me again in a new setting. Just as I’ve always longed for my letter from Hogwarts, I now will be constantly yearning to join the legion of bookwanderers! Tilly immediately felt like a new friend, with whom I could chat about the important things in life, such as a soft spot for Gilbert Blythe, and her mischievous streak, which leads her into a fair few pickles, makes her even more loveable.
Despite being sent a proof of the book (perks of the job eh?!) I still bought a finished copy as the artwork is so very beautiful.
I recommend this book for any age, it’s too enticing to be missed, but I would love to be able to time travel and have read this when I was younger, I would have fallen head over heals. This is set to be a classic, and just as Tilly reminisces over her childhood favourites, bookworms of the future will do just this over her. I am already waiting longingly to start turning the pages of book two in Tilly’s adventures, and until then, excuse me as I go sit in the corner and try to summon up Lizzie Bennet, she’ll take me with her to Pemberley right?!
Pages & Co: Tilly and the Bookwanderers by Anna James £12.99 (HarperCollins)
So dear readers, what characters would you like to meet in real life? Any books you would fancy disappearing into? As usual, let us know in the comments below!
If you’d like a notification when new book posts appear on Dog Eared Reads, just drop us an email with ‘Subscribe’ in the subject line to dogearedreads1@gmail..com
And until next time,