Monday, March 16, 2015

The Kiss of the Wolf Spider

Kiss of the Wolf Spider
Sharianne Bailey
Regeneration Publishers Limited, New Zealand 2013
294 pp  $20
ISBN 0781 466365629

Challenging, confronting and scary though this book is, it is ultimately a story of redemption and recovery.

Sharianne lifts the lid on a world we would prefer not to know about. That a father could and would put his daughter through this nightmare time and time again is inconceivable. Unfortunately many in authority would rather close their eyes to what is going on, and the abused girls find it almost impossible to speak out. They fear the rejection of not being believed. They fear the threats of their abusers. They fear the future and see no way out of their particular hell.

In the first section, Unspoken, Jane tells her story of years of abuse at the hands of her father. Powerfully written in the first person, interspersed with diary entries, this novel makes heart-rending reading. We feel for Jane and understand her reasons for silence. Finally she finds a listening ear and begins the excruciating process of breaking free from the power of the past. She feels guilt at putting her father in prison, shame at what has happened and bewilderment at all that is happening around her.

In the second section, Redeemed, Jane’s story continues. Recovery and healing is not an instant fix and there are many issues to work through. Fortunately Jane is surrounded with supportive people but she has continuing grief that her close family are not among them. However she manages to reconnect with grandparents and a cousin who have an on-going role in her recovery.

For a first novel, Sharianne has excelled as she tells Jane’s story. Our eyes are opened and we are made more aware as she tackles this difficult subject. We are reminded to deal gently with those around us who may be hurting; we have no idea of their pain.

Written in an easy style this compelling story draws you on as you long for Jane to break free from her past. I urge you to read this book and be inspired.

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