Past the Dark Field by Sheila Huevel-Collins – Book Review

Much has been spoken about what do peer support groups do in the topic of hebe, pedo and neipiophilia, and criticism has always been a part of the fact people with the “MAP” condition have this support groups amongst peers, Twitter specially has been a platform that has gathered some of the people with the condition that are willing to have online presence, and it is then a place where hate and criticism is almost daily received by those who refuse to understand and just aim to silence their voices. Sheila v.d.H-Collins is one of the few people who decided to let those fears and hate aside, and test for herself what do these communities really look like from the inside. For the past 2 years she has talked with people from within the anticontact community and formed a part of the biggest anticontact peer chat support group. Her insights and observations now take shape in the form of this based-on-real-life fiction book, where actual life events of people within the community helped shape the situations the characters go through in it.

Although it took me a while to get used to the book’s unique structure, once I got the hang of it I couldn’t help but relate to some of the portrayals. Divided by topic and by chapters that show just a small glimpse of every character’s situation intertwined with conversations had on “MAP Chat”, the book offers food for thought, and portray what I can say is quite an accurate description of what a MAP usually goes through in daily life situations. Diversity in ages, gender and even place of origin is shown amongst them as varied as the actual people that go through it are as well.

Without giving into any spoilers for those who as me prefer to enter into a book with a fresh mind, and putting aside the obvious difference in ages and genders of the characters I here mention, the situations shown by Karl (Introduction), Andrea (Coming Out) and Marie (Limerence) are three of the ones I found I could really relate to with my own life as a MAP, as if a portion of what I go through goes represented in these other characters, something that rarely happens to me with any character in a book.

It’s only in rare occasions where you can find a book that deals with the matter of attraction to minors, and out of the fiction stories I have found I had never seen one I can feel so related to.

A must read for those interested in reviewing from a safe distance what do anticontact MAPs do in their support groups and what do some of their lifes look like. Sheila did an excellent job on showing a broadly misunderstood and highly misrepresented minority as the anticontact MAP community is.

You can find more information about the book by visiting http://www.salmacispress.ca, including Pre-Order links from Amazon, Kobo and any further plans of release by the author.

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