Believe Like A Child by Paige Dearth
Published By: CreateSpace
Release Date: June 22, 2011
Format: Paperback - 426 Pages / Kindle - 642 KB
Genre: Mystery / Suspense / Thriller / Contemporary Fiction
About The Author:
Born and raised in Plymouth Meeting, a small town west of Philadelphia, PA, Paige Dearth was a victim of child rape and spent her early years yearning for a better life. To escape the unwanted attentions of her molester, a pedophile uncle who lived with the family, she married at the age of nineteen and moved with her new husband to Chula Vista, California. After two years of marriage during which she struggled to make ends meet, she became pregnant, only to discover that her husband was a heroin addict. Paige waited for the birth of her daughter and when the baby was just eight months old, moved back to Pennsylvania. With no formal education or money to fall back on, she courageously set out to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and make it whole once more.
Living through the fear and isolation of her youth, Paige developed the ability to create stories that would help her cope and finally put them to use by embarking on a series of novels. Believe Like A Child, the author's debut offering, is the darkest version of who she could have become, had fate not intervened in the nick of time. It presents a fine balance between what lives on in her imagination and the evil that lurks in the real world.
BUY THE BOOK: Believe Like A Child
BARNES & NOBLE
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review, and for hosting a virtual book event on my book review blog site.
Virtual Book Event: On Monday, May 21, 2012, author Paige Dearth participated in a virtual book event on Jersey Girl Book Reviews with an Author Guest Post, Author Interview and Book Contest Giveaway.
Alessa is just seven years old when her uncle rapes her for the first time. As the years pass, his sexual appetite becomes more voracious and his perversion more twisted, until the abuse has become almost a daily ritual, with the unspoken involvement of the girl's mother.
At the age of sixteen, after the death of her only friend, Alessa finds herself at the mercy of her real-life monster, with no relief in sight. She flees her home to escape this hell, only to find herself descending into a more dangerous one. Alone and helpless in the streets of North Philadelphia, she encounters more human predators who want to take over her life and devour her. About to hit rock bottom, Alessa manages to break away from her new tormentors and finds refuge in a shelter for homeless and abused women.
Wherever she goes, however, trouble keeps seeking her out, until she meets three people who change the course of her life forever. Though Alessa's bittersweet journey is perpetually fraught with challenges, she does, nevertheless, manage to find fleeting moments of joy along the way. But as she begins to settle down, a ghost from the past comes to haunt her again, threatening to destroy the very foundation of her small world and plunging her back into an abyss of despair, until she makes her final bid for escape.
My Book Review:
Believe Like A Child is the haunting story of Alessa, a young woman who endured physical, sexual and emotional abuse since early childhood. Alessa's home life was extremely dysfunctional, and the family thrived on turmoil. As the youngest of four children, she was a quiet and timid child, and she felt like she didn't fit in or belonged. The only person in the family that she felt loved and safe with was her maternal grandmother. When her beloved Grammy passed away when she was seven years old, she was devastated and no longer felt safe in her home. Her mother's brother, Uncle Danny moved into the family home, and Alessa once again thought she had found someone who made her feel safe and loved. But within a few months of staying there, her uncle raped Alessa, and the sexual abuse continued for ten years. Unable to take the abuse any longer, and with no support from mother, Alessa runs away from home at the age of sixteen to Philadelphia, where the vicious cycle and disturbing odyssey continued to plague her life while living on the street. Believe Like A Child is the story of Alessa's journey to overcome the horrifying abuse she has endured, and to find the inner strength and determination to be a survivor no matter what it will cost her.
Believe Like A Child is a gut-wrenching and disturbing story that will pull at your heartstrings and leave your emotions completely spent. This hauntingly powerful story is told in a straight forward, graphic and realistic way that engages the reader's full spectrum of emotions. With powerful and complex characters that leap off the pages, the reader is easily drawn into their world, some you'll love and others you'll despise, but nonetheless their intertwining lives make the story that much more compelling. The descriptions of abuse and life on the street is graphically explicit, gritty and realistic. You can't help but feel for Alessa as her life's story unfolds through a gripping third-person narration. This story is not an easy one to read, your emotions will run the gamut, and yet this story is one that needed to be told. If anything, this story will test your compassion, empathy, and outrage for the travesty that befalls people, especially our children, and the brutal reality of what abuse (whether it is physical, sexual or emotional) can do to a person's psyche. The dramatic and surprising ending is one that will stay with you long after you have finished the book.
Believe Like A Child is the debut novel for author Paige Dearth. Kudos to her for having the courage to write about such a difficult topic, especially since some of it mirrors her own life story. This powerful story will provide much food for thought, I highly recommend that everyone should read it.
RATING: 4 STARS ****