Kathleen's Reviews > Believe Like a Child

Believe Like a Child by Paige Dearth
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's review
May 19, 2012

really liked it
Read from May 19 to 20, 2012

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 circle 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.

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.

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05/19/2012 page 200
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