Review of Turning Pages
Heather Thomas

J. L. Carey Jr’s voice in Turning Pages is distinctive and clear. His poems cover a range of subjects, including love, self-worth, sadness, and beauty. The numinous quality of his poems is undeniable, speaking to a seemingly universal truth of human experience. The sensuous quality of his work, evident in “Hydrometer Floating” (my favorite poem in the collection) gives the readers the opportunity to immerse themselves in the present moment, seeing with their mind’s eye the image that has been masterfully painted.

The intelligence and heart involved in the construction of Turning Pages is immediately apparent to the reader. The key figure of the book, Ajari- Joan is joined by other mythological and historical figures, symbols, and philosophies lending to the dimension and texture of Carey’s poetry. Throughout the book, references made to mythological figures and historical persons are elucidated and contextualized, giving the reader the option to engage in the story and to absorb the substantive message.

Turning Pages is an accessible collection of poetry that is neither imposing nor invasive. This poem in the collection tells a unique story that is sure to speak to the sensibilities of poetry lovers and writers everywhere. This sort of poetry, I think, requires the reader to welcome the message. When the message is gotten, it is sweet, sweet, sweet. Certainly, I would recommend Turning Pages to friends, family, and anyone else. I believe that virtually all readers would be able to find a connection to Carey’s words, exploring the meaning of life and living right alongside him.

Heather K. Thomas, a poet and freelance writer, is a student at the University of California. Heather has been writing and studying poetry for more than ten years and has authored hundreds of poems.  Her book "A Place for You and Me" is a collection romantic poetry.  You may contact Heather at

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