Kayla Harris

Solstice at Stonewylde

Book 3 – Review

It may not be obvious to many people, but before ‘real’ abuse there comes; ‘Grooming’. This can be the most difficult and yet  is a commonly repeated issue that women contend with every single day. It indicates the very start of abuse yet is the hardest to determine. It can also be the glue that holds a woman captive even after she has become aware of what is happening to her. After all, we’re never really certain if that charming and generous appearance is the real deal. Yet how many of us have fallen for it, and how many times?

We have all, at some point, been taken by the guy who has showered us with expensive gifts, dazzled us with his charm and wit. Flattery works on us every time, right? Well, after you’ve read Solstice, you may hold a different view…

What Kit does in Solstice is cover all of the possible tactics any potential abusive ‘partner’ will use to ensnare their prey and how they will continue with this to ensure and maintain their hold.

This is the episode where Magus once again wins Sylvie over, despite her torment and suffering at his hands. We now see evidence of the Sexual Controller and of course, the Bully rearing their ugly heads within Magus’ ever evolving persona. He has now progressed to the Persuader, resorting to inciting a reaction brought about by guilt. By embodying all of the characteristics, added with the numerous other personalities he’s accumulated, he keeps her within his control without the need to raise his hands. Much. He exploits her kindness and effectively passes over responsibility of ALL his emotional welfare to Sylvie. Effectively holding her captive within his apartment, he showers her with expensive gifts and fine food. He turns his previous actions on its head and so poor Sylvie is once again confused and pliable.

Drunk and befuddled, from the frequent intoxication of alcohol Magus plies her with, her awareness of events are distorted and obscured. She is unable to comprehend her circumstances and is totally defenceless. This mirrors, perfectly, the reality of what women, young and old, contend with every day and I commend Kit for her bravery at exposing abusive tactics so skillfully.

The grooming process is the absolute key to the protection of oneself. If one owns the ability to work out potential dangers ahead, then it is possible to avoid falling into the trap. However, it more often the case that nearly all women do fall, because it is hard to detect without knowledge. We are not born with this insight installed in us (society and sometimes, the media contribute to our ‘weakened’ state of mind) we must learn. Kit gives us a severe and practical lesson of what can really happen to any woman.

This book was as much suffocating as it was intoxicating. Unsurprisingly, Kit absolutely blew me away with her abundant knowledge of such tragic experiences and realities. As with every other book I have read in this series, the storyline is captivating and enjoyable, spellbinding and beautiful, tragic whilst simultaneously sanguine. Combine that with its amazingly educational quality, this series will most certainly aid the progression of understanding.

It is my belief that novels such as these should be included in the national curriculum along with courses such as The Freedom Programme for all of our teens of the future. It may provide an opportunity to resolve and maybe even assist in reducing the ever increasing amount of children that are being lost to the system. Every single day.

Once again Kit, my utmost respect goes straight out to you.

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