Believe Like a Child

Believe Like a Child

4.9 10
by Paige Dearth
     
 

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

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Overview

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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781461105671
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
06/22/2011
Pages:
444
Sales rank:
514,281
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.99(d)

Meet the Author

SOME DIRT ON THE AUTHOR:

Born and raised in Plymouth Meeting, a small town west of Philadelphia, 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.

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Believe Like a Child 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Autumn2 More than 1 year ago
I received this book via Netgalley to give an honest review. The first thing that got me was the cover. The way it looked I knew it would be heartbreaking, then I read the blurb and knew that this book was not going to go from heartbreaking to happiness. It was going to be tragedy all around. The book started off powerful. When we start getting into the rape of Alessa and the graphic of it all my heart sank. I literally had to put the book down for a minute on more than one occasion just so I could breath. For any child or hell even a person to go through something like this and still live is just a miracle all itself.   Alessa it seems has had a bad hand dealt to her since she was born. Having to share the same toothbrush without toothpaste with her sister, having hand me down clothes that really don't fit to not being loved by her own mother.  When Alessa finally gets on on her own she thinks she will be okay but it is more of she ends up finding herself in a terrible situation again. She ends up raped on more than one occasion, she is beaten her spirit is broken. But then she sees a light at the end of the tunnel with Ebby. Ebby is a therapist who works at a shelter for young people. She takes Alessa under her wing and tries to build her self-esteem after Alessa finally opens up to what she has had to go through her whole life.  When Alessa literally becomes homeless and learns how the homeless take care of each other it is amazing. Especially when she looks after a young child named Lucy. Lucy has her own sad background and it breaks your heart as well. I think for Alessa Lucy was the one that helped her get through things and made her realize that she can have a better life. Then the unthinkable thing happens to Alessa again she is raped only to save Lucy but this goes far beyond rape.  But the light that comes from this horrible act is that Alessa is able to find happiness by finding a man who loves her despite her past. She meets a man and you would think that they would have a happily ever after happen. Far from it. There is no happy ending with this story. But the ending I thought would come out the way it did and I was glad for the outcome that Alessa had. It shows that she was greatly cared for and touched so many lives. We see how Alessa grows as a person but her past will never leave her no matter what happiness she finds for herself. It is quite sad. The only thing I would have liked to have known is about Rhonda's mother. She helped Alessa escape and Alessa attempted to stay in touch, but she was never invited to the wedding. She was never told how good Alessa was doing and I wondered why. I wish the author would have added more into the story about that.  This story is raw, disturbing and honestly is not for the faint of heart. This story will tug at your heartstrings and if you have children will make you want to hug them and show them love even more. Because you know that out there is always a child who is being hurt in some way. I think the way this author told the story was greatly done. You could actually feel the feelings that Alessa was going though and it made you want to reach in within the story and give her a hug.
224perweek More than 1 year ago
My heart broke starting at page 1 and continued through the whole book. I have never read anything as gripping and sad as this story. Thank god that it is fiction. I could not imagine anyone actually going through what this young girl does. No one could really survive that.
MaryAnn_Koopmann More than 1 year ago
“Believe Like a Child” this book is well-written, suspense novel with numerous twists and turns. The unknown and the desire to know more keep you riveted to every word and each and every page. Dearth has managed to write a book in such a way that it makes the reader feel like they are actually viewing a movie as they read it. I could mentally visualize all that was taking place making it virtually impossible to not become part of the action. It then begins to weave the story of the many people involved and the feeling and flavor of an entire town. The organization and flow of this book was totally professional, pulling me along, introducing new characters and fully fleshing them out for me. Everyone seemed so real and the story so believable I felt like I was there on the sideline. Dearth wrote this book in such a way that it put the reader into the story and I was able to feel what the characters were going through and to be honest, it was not a pleasant experience. I do have kids, all grown, but I do have grand kids and I could not imagine either one of them being raped and abused. The author holds nothing back when it comes to the sexual abuse that Aleesa suffered and it’s horrifying. I was so disturbed by what was happening to this child. Have a box of tissues nearby. When I found my emotions getting caught in my throat- and when I couldn't stop turning the pages- I knew Paige Dearth had a hit on their hands. Go ahead- stop everything you're doing and buy this book!
MercedesMud More than 1 year ago
After reading the description for Believe Like a Child I was very eager to read this book. From the very first paragraph I was hooked. This book is very shocking, very graphic, horrifying, disturbing, sick and full of nonstop page turning. I had to know what was going to happen next. I immediately wished I could step in and steal Alessa away from the horror of her family life. Many times in this book I was devastated at how things finally started to look up for Alessa and she was just thrown right back down. This girl is a survivor and it seems as though her Angel just wasn’t on duty when she needed him the most. When I started reading this book I only put it down when I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. I finished the next day. The reading is easy, it’s fast, it keeps you wanting to know more and more. I won’t spoil the end, but I will say the last chapter I cried the entire time. I didn’t see this end coming at all. Read the book, you won’t be disappointed. I look forward to more works from Paige Dearth.
MsTiptress More than 1 year ago
And this should be in the hall of fame! OMG! I cried from the first chapter until the last page! This story is an awesome read, a tear jerker, dramatic and should be told over and over again. This will give you nightmares, dreams, and goals. How can I say nightmares and dreams in the same sentence? Alessa is the character that will stick with you until your dying days. It brings tears to my eyes even to write this review. You will not be able to put this book done. I commend Alessa, she is strong, determined, smart, caring, everything you shouldn't find in a person that has endured everything that she has. And that is what made her more lovable... This book gave me the strength to face everyday with the biggest smile that I can just cause Alessa did. This was far past just a story, it should be an omen, something everyone should follow (to a certain extent) The author told such a valuable message here. Oh and this had all the drama that you can think of. The characters were all so believable, and real. In your face raw as hell real! and the cover it went so perfectly well with what's between the pages. I'm so happy the author gave me a chance to read this story and even still I want to buy the book again.. and again..... Oh let me add, the ending was superb and something that was so unexpected! I was furious but it bittersweet
srfeike More than 1 year ago
An emotional, engrossing story Believe Like a Child is the story of Alessa, a young girl who has been sexually, physically, and emotionally abused her whole life. The story starts out right in the first paragraph when Alessa was 7 years old and is being raped by her uncle. We get to watch her over the next few years as she grows up so we understand her background and where she's coming from so that later in the story we can maybe empathize and understand some of the decisions she makes throughout her life. I'm not quite sure where to even start with this book. I knew just from the book description that this would not be a light, easy read, and boy was I right. It was an emotional rollercoaster, going through each and every emotion you could possibly think of with such rapid succession at times it made my mind spin. At times this book had me laughing out loud, and the next chapter over I would be in tears. It was an engrossing read that I found hard to put down. I just had to know what was going to happen next. The characters were amazingly written. Alessa was so easy to love as a person. There were times I just wanted to be able to reach into the book and hug her or help her or just tell her it was going to be okay. Watching her go through her struggles and making the decisions she did sometimes based her low self-worth was heart wrenching, and the ending…wow! Definitely not what I thought was going to happen. I won't say anything else about it here because there's nothing I can say that won't give too much away…I'll just leave it at wow! The third person narrative really worked in that we got to see so many different perspectives, some just for a short time, but those were times where there were things that we really needed to see from a different perspective. As I was reading the book, I was pretty sure I was going to give it a four-star rating rather than five-star, simply because the dialogue did not flow as nicely as I would have liked it to. It seemed just choppy and not realistic, but the more I read the easier it got to read and I did not notice it as much. It also seemed to fit it well with the overall feeling of the story. The only thing that I was questioning is the time setting of the story. I would love to know what year this is supposed to be set in. Most of the time I thought it was pretty current, as the characters had cell phones and there were other things to make me think that it was a contemporary setting, but at the same time minimum wage was only $3.35, which confused me. The topics in this book are not things that are usually written about openly and candidly. I think that is one of the things I enjoyed so much about Believe Like a Child, the frank and genuine openness of it. Overall, I enjoyed this story very, very much and am glad I had the opportunity to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thos book was amazing could not put it down. Soooheart wrenchingand yet itmade me smileand laugh at alessas courage and determination to change her life and others. I would have easily rated this 5 stars but the ending left me feeling cheated and heart borken. I just feel the ending didnt make sense for her character. She was too smartto not questionin her mind if maybe just maybe her enemy could be lying. I understand her doing what she did if it were true but to not find out for sure to never even doubt a lil knowing how he is and for her to not at least try to see if it were true doesnt ring true for me. Also why bring us thru all that hell andlet us see her finally doing better to just let us readers down. Disapppinted soo mucg i couldnt sleep that was how much rbis story really got into me. Very good read just sad ending for me.
jgoehl More than 1 year ago
Believe Like a Child is a roller coaster ride of emotions, hurt, pain, anger, hope, love, and trust all wrapped up into a neat little bundle that will open your eyes to something that actually happens every single day all around the world. Alessa is dealt a crappy hand from the moment she entered the world. Born into a family that is dirt poor, with only her Grandmother ever showing her any real love, her mother takes in Alessa's uncle to live with them to help pay the bills. At age seven, she begins to endure continuous sexual abuse from him That lasts until the one night that she witnesses her best friend, and really only friend, being shot. Taking off on her own, Alessa endures too many to count highs and lows. When things start going well, something is always waiting around the corner to bring her down. After suffering sexual, mental, and physical abuse from just about everyone she meets, homelessness, and betrayal she never gives up hope. Alessa's strength and resilience is encouraging and you can't help but root for her to over come everything thrown her way. I had a hard time pulling myself back into my normal life each time I put the book down for the night. Alessa comes to life in such detail you feel like you know her. Believe Like a Child is a no-holds barred, the truth is in your face novel. It is very graphic in parts but I honestly believe it has to be to make it what it is. The cover is haunting, reminding you each time you look at it that hush-hush child abuse really happens and makes your heart break. I found tears running down my face in parts and cheering out load at others. The ending will grip at your heart strings and leave you haunted when you finish the last page. Believe Like a Child is a wonderfully written first novel by Paige Dearth and I highly recommend reading it. Paige has a real talent to draw you right into her world and keep you captivated until the end.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Not long after the death of her maternal Grammy, her protector Uncle Danny sexually abuses his seven year old niece Alessa by placing his fingers into her vagina. She becomes confused and very frightened. Over the next decade, Uncle Danny visits her with impunity. She told her mother that Uncle Danny was sodomizing her, but Caterina called her a liar; while her dad might as well not have existed. The little girl assumed her brother Anthony and her two older sisters (Rosabella and Anna) knew, but did nothing to end the incestuous rapes. When friendless Alessia turned fourteen, Rhonda in her gym class invites her to a party. When she was sixteen, Alessa was at Rhonda's house when a visitor fires shots and kills her only buddy. Alessa's mom bans her from the funeral. After her parents leave for the weekend, Uncle Danny informs his niece she will be friendly to his poker buddies. Instead she leaves hell house for the mean streets of Philadelphia where more Uncle Danny types stalk teens like her. This is not an easy read as Paige Dearth does not attempt to hide or lessen the ugliness of predators like Uncle Danny and their silent by hiding in the sand supporters like her mother. Alessa is an incredible individual whose over all life from the day Uncle Danny moved in is a living hell. Her trek from hell house to the big city is filled with more ugliness. Yet Alessa lives up to her name as the Defender of Mankind when she reaches out from the darkness as a light to others like her under the bridge young "roommate" Lucy until the past returns in anger. Harriet Klausner