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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Page Turning ThrillerJuly 3 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
I was originally drawn to this book after I read the authors bio. The cover of the book is a window into how dark and twisted it will be. As you begin reading you will find short chapters, which is something I personally enjoy when reading any book. The novel is based around Alessa, a young girl who endures a tormented childhood. As she grows older and escapes her Uncle, she meets many characters both good and bad, however, all critically important to the story. You will read through Alessa's triumphs and tribulations as the smooth flow of the story keeps you on the edge of your seat, on your toes and craving for more. The graphic nature and sensitive subject matter during certain scenes makes it difficult at times but I found that I had to keep reading, almost against my will, to find out what would happen next. Brace yourself. You will be completely and totally immersed in this fast paced, page turning thriller of a novel.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Amazing and heart-wrenching!July 26 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
From the haunting picture on the cover to the gripping opening scene to the stunning final pages, this story captured me. Alessa is presented in such fine detail and plain language that she becomes a real person. Each time I thought I knew what would happen next, the story took a completely unexpected turn. Throughout it all I felt her pain and prayed for her survival.
While the many torments she suffered were heart-wrenching, the most emotional parts of the book for me were the acts of kindness - great and small - that helped Alessa move forward in her life. Her goodness often put her at risk but she was willing to risk everything for the people she loved and for those she barely knew who simply needed her.
A remarkable work from first time author Paige Dearth. I look forward to more from her!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Living a life of Hell abused and used by evil menJune 16 2012
Paige Dearth was a victim of child rape. Paige escaped from her pedophile uncle at the age of 19 and got married. She married and moved to Chula Vista, California. After two years of being married, she got pregnant, only to find out her husband was addicted to heroin. When her baby was eight months old she moved back to Pennsylvania. It is Paige's faith that kept her strong and able to face all of her fears to bring such a wonderful true to life story. I have to say that it is an honor to be asked by Paige to review her book, I could feel the pain that Paige endured as a child. I love to read books to learn from them, but this book taught me how Paige endured her hardships but kept the fight of life to be better and overcome such horrific torment. It is proof that Paige can encourage and inspire each of her readers despite her lifetime trials. Main Character is Alessa (Meaning defender of mankind), at age seven years old found her uncle in her bed, forcing sex upon her. Alessa is the youngest of four kids. Main Character is Caterina whom was the youngest of 14 children, Alessa's Mother. In Alessa's family turmoil was what Alessa's family thrived on, whereas all Alessa wanted is to be around people who would make her feel loved and like she belonged in her family. This is not the case as she is the outcast everywhere she goes. Alessa's family was very poor making her life all that much harder in the real world. How did Uncle Danny get to Alessa? At age six Alessa's grandma died and this was her best friend. Grandma made Alessa feel special, unlike all of the other family members. So during and after the funeral Uncle Danny made Alessa feel comforted, warm and loved. Alessa felt loved for the first time since Granny died. Uncle Danny was well liked by all family members; he made money, funny and well rounded type of guy. Danny was the type of guy anyone whom would love to be around and like. Danny's girlfriend dies in a tragic car accident which brought him to realize he needed to be around family so Caterina offers a room for him. This helped Danny and Caterina because he needed a place to live and he paid rent for the room which in turn helped out Caterina with daily necessities the poor family needed. At night Uncle Danny would comfort Alessa and let her fall asleep in his bedroom. Then around six months after granny died, Uncle Danny "raped" Alessa. This made Alessa feel isolated and alone, at the age of seven. After the first rape, Alessa started to sleep in her own bed and Uncle Danny would enter into the room late at night and continue the abuse. By the time Alessa is nine years old, Uncle Danny made it a nightly ritual to help himself to Alessa. By the time she was 12, Uncle Danny wanted more from her and decided to have sex in ways "only a pedophile would do." Alessa childhood was robbed but despite it all it did prepare her with the resilience to hold on to her own dreams and later in life be greatly blessed.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
The worst ending I've read in ages, with a bad middle and not-too-good startDec 23 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
The amount of crap the main character dealt with throughout the novel is, no doubt, realistic to the situation. That doesn't mean it makes an effective novel. I felt horrible the entire way through, and just when it got good and I started to hope for humanity, it plummeted and everything was ruined forever. The writing technique also wasn't great, though I was willing to forgive that for the message, if there'd been one. There really wasn't. It was just bad. Cruelty, horrible people, rape after rape after gang rape after prostitution after gang rape after prostitution after rape. I'm toning it down here. There was more.
All in all, this might be a matter of taste, in that I don't want my mind mentally bashed in with a hammer repeatedly without respite. But there were also craft errors throughout. The dialogue was stinted and implausible. Every character sounded the same--or rather, all the 'good' characters sounded one way and all the bad another. The syntax was awkward. There was a lot more telling than showing in the narrative.
I'm certainly not naive that this stuff goes on in real life, but when I read a novel, I need hope. This took all my hope and stomped on it and told me to give up, that even if it gets better, it'll only get worse and the bad guys win. Dude. Not my cup of tea. More like a cup of nothing, or less than nothing, because it left me feeling miserable and cheated. Now, there are certain authors who can pull this off and you're impressed by their ingenuity, their ability to get you to connect with their spark of humanity and their message. Some Russian writers come to mind. This isn't one of those. You just feel like the past few hours of your life were stolen by a contrived and wretched story lacking completely in anything that is not linked to despair or violation.
Don't read it thinking it's gonna get better. It starts out horrible, it gets worse and spends its entire time reveling in its own hopelessness.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Gothic Mom's Book ReviewAug. 7 2012
ANNETTE M GUERRIERO
- Published on Amazon.com
Today's review is on Believe Like a Child by Paige Dearth
Believe Like a Child has got to be the most amazing book I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It's not only inspirational, it's also heart wrenching, educational, and thought provoking. This book is NOT intended for children, as it tells the tale of sexual and emotional abuse of a child and her continued journey of victimization. Though not written like a erotic novel, the author does not hold anything back, and it is graphic. I guarantee, that once you finish this book, its message of courage and perseverance will stay with you for a very long time.
Alessa; who's name was chosen by her grandmother and means "Defender of Mankind", is the youngest of four children in her family. Growing up with a father who is emotionally absent and a mother who seems to enjoy playing the victim, Alessa's only comfort is her loving grandmother. So when grandma passes away; when Alessa is six, she is devastated. While everyone else in her family paid her no attention, her grandmother adored her and made her feel special and loved. Thankfully she had her Uncle Danny.
Uncle Danny flawlessly took the place of grandma in Alessa's world. He would spend more time with Alessa than with her other siblings, and he would spoil her with gifts, love, and affection. But Uncle Danny had ulterior motives, and a dark secret. Uncle Danny was a pedophile.
At the age of seven, Alessa is surprised to find Uncle Danny in her bedroom. She couldn't understand why the uncle that she thought was her "protector" could rape her. And as the rape continued to occur, Alessa became withdrawn, finding an escape within her mind somehow. There was no one she could turn to, even after she told her mother of the abuse.
Finally fleeing her home at the age of 17; with the help of her BFF's mother, Alessa finds herself living in a really bad neighborhood where she is attacked by four guys. Thankfully she is "saved" by her new BFF's brother. But even this savior isn't what he seems.
Thrown into the world of sex, Alessa becomes an exotic dancer and prostitute before fleeing once again from a horrible life. She ultimately ends up living in shelters or on the street. But Alessa never looses hope that there is a better life out there waiting for her. She just has to "do what she has to do" to survive, and to get there.
But how could someone write a story like this and make it so profoundly life like? By being a victim themselves.
At the age of seven, Paige Dearth was raped by her uncle. And like many teens that suffer from sexual, physical, and/or emotional abuse, she married young. (Perhaps to the first man that showed her love and made her feel safe.) She later became pregnant and found out that her husband was a heroin addict. She then divorced and moved back to her home town, but the feelings of isolation and fear remained. Paige defied the odds however, and is now happily married to her second husband. Though she does have an MBA, Paige didn't feel fulfilled until writing this first novel at the age of 46. But what a novel it is. As far as Debut books are concerned, this has got to be one of the very best. Though there were some inconsistencies and grammatical errors, the writing was exceptional.
Believe Like a Child is a story so compelling, you'll want to reach out and be that one person that provides that one random act of kindness that could change a life. And, you'll want to tell everyone you meet to read this book so that it can change their lives too. A random act of kindness in and of itself.