Monday, January 28, 2013

Review of Sephy Rides the Storms by Fiona King

*This book contains mature content and adult language and is not recommended for readers under the age of 18!*

Book Blurb:

You wouldn’t think it to look at Katherine Willis but she is dangerous. Beneath her apparently homely exterior, storms are raging. Katherine is angry, bitter and unloved. Abandoned by her broken lover, James McKenzie, Katherine’s rage grows. For those who are vulnerable, any encounter with her is unfortunate. Lucky then, that she has no children.
Unhappily for them, however, when James McKenzie walked away, he left behind 14 year old Danny and six year old Sephy. Katherine already knows their weaknesses, how best to hurt them. They are the perfect victims. She can think of a thousand ways to wound them and she has no reservations about putting her ideas into practise.
Sephy rides the storms, examines the often hidden phenomena of child abuse. The story tells of the strength and courage of survivors and also investigates some of the scars which may never heal.
Will the love and support of a friend they meet along the way enable Danny and Sephy to live a happy life? Will Danny be able to find his way out of the darkness? Will Sephy be able to ride all of the storms?
The book contains adult themes and some strong language.


Sephy Rides the Storms has to be one of the hardest books that I have read in recent memory.  Not because it is a bad novel or anything of that nature, but because of the content of the story itself.  This book is about abuse,  and abuse in the worst possible sense, abuse of children.  This novel highlights the plight that thousands of children find themselves in and their abusers.
The story is about Sephy and her brother Danny, who are relatively young in the beginning, Sephy being around the age of six and her brother a teenager.  They have been abandoned by their father and left with a sadistic woman who derives great pleasure in torturing the children in a variety of ways, whether it is beatings or sexual assault.  Like I said, it is hard to read, but it does get better as you move through the book. 
In essence Sephy and Danny become the lucky ones, as their circumstances change in just a few short years, thanks to the kindness of a stranger and the grandmother they never knew existed.  The story is heart-wrenching, moving you to tears as you read about the pain and suffering that these two endure.  But it does not stop there.  It also gives us a glimpse into the personal hell that someone who has been subjected to abuse lives with for the rest of their life.  Abuse has a way of changing people, some use it as an excuse to perpetuate the cycle, while others, like Sephy and Danny, live with it in the back of their minds, struggling to forge close ties with people, dealing with depression, and trying as hard as they can just to live.
The book is very moving and in some ways terrifying, but it is definitely worth the time it would take to sit and read it.  Maybe, through this novel, we can better recognize some of the patterns of abuse and strive to make a change for our children.  Read the book and then pay attention to the children around you, whether they are students, friends of your children, nieces, nephews, cousins, whoever.  Let this book make you an advocate for change!

About the author:

Fiona King was born in Hong Kong in 1967. Her father was originally from Forfar, Scotland. He was in the Royal Navy and died shortly after she was born. Her mother then returned to Warwickshire, England where she has lived for most of her life. She is married with two step children.
Fiona has always enjoyed writing and has just published her first novel 'Sephy Rides the Storms'. The book is a fictional work detailing abuse and its long term effects. Fiona works in learning disability support and part of her role has entailed raising awareness about abuse so this is a subject which is close to her heart.
She is now working on her second book which she envisages will be a paranormal romance. She had the same thoughts about the first book, however, but it never really turned out that way so we will see.
She also enjoys walking, festivals and music.

Connect with the author via the following links:

To purchase a copy of Sephy Rides the Storms