Remember, I always start out with the excerpt from the book or what is on the back cover:
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. 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 frought 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.
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.
This story sent shudders thru me! I am a very lucky woman as I have never been in any situations like this and I thank God all the time for that small miracle. What really upsets me the most is that this girl's mother knew what was going on and she did nothing because her brother paid her $750 a month to live there. Her excuse was that she needed the money to keep her family up, but at the expense of her daughter? Really? This is no mother in my opinion! She needs to be charged with accessory to rape or more. When Alessa tried to get her mother to help her all the mother did was call her a liar and a pig and she threatened to beat her to death.
Finally, at age fourteen, she has a best friend named Rhonda, and Rhonda's mom Zoe. She loves both of them because of the love that is shown to her. So, when tragedy strikes, it devastates Alessa. One night while over at Rhonda's house a woman shows up accusing Zoe of sleeping with her husband. Zoe tells her she did not know that the man was married but the wife pulls a gun and shoots Zoe and Rhonda. Zoe is not seriously hurt but Rhonda dies. Poor Alessa's mom makes matter worse by coming to the hospital and calling Zoe a whore and shouting and causing a scene. She is forbidden to ever go to Zoe's house again.
When Alessa is almost 17 her parents go to Atlantic City and leave her alone with the uncle. The uncle said he was having some friends over and that Alessa was expected to have sex with all of them! She escapes and runs to Zoe, who gives her $2,000 and some clothes that belonged to Rhonda. She went to North Philly and got a job at at Dollar Store and met a new friend named Tasha. One night while walking home she was attacked by a gang of boys and was raped by one of them. Before the others could rape her, Tasha's brother shows up with a gun and his gang and they rescue Alessa. Tasha's brother then killed the boy and then cut the other boy's penis off then poured kerosene over him and set him on fire! He also went to the Dollar Store and made the manager put Alessa on the day shift.
Unfortunately, he wanted more also. He got her to dance in a strip joint in the beginning and then later he wanted her to do more. He started charging men to be with Alessa because he had become addicted to cocaine and needed the money. With Tasha's help she was able to escape to a homeless shelter where whe met a little girl named Lucy who had been sexually abused by both parents. Alessa found them both a warm place to stay and she started back dancing to earn momey. One night while walking home they are both stopped by yet another gang that wants Lucy. Alessa tells them to leave her alone and take her instead.
Lucy was sent to a nearby restaurant and the gang raped and beat Alessa so bad she had broken arms and legs. After several hours Lucy got scared because Alessa had not come so she called a social worker that both of them knew and the social worker called the cops and they found Alessa unconscious and nearly dead. She was taken to a hospital and stayed there for about a week. The social worker found them a place to stay and got her set up with a therapist who helped Alessa heal, both emotionally and physically. Alessa finally came to understand the true meaning of love and knew that the hell of a life she had had was finally over. She married the therapist and the both of them raised Lucy. She was finally free!
I left alot of stuff out because it is so tragic and heartbreaking and I urge you to read this story of a girl who in the end found a way to set herself free. Parts of this story is true up to the point of running away. From that point on this story is fiction, but it is still haunting and it makes you understand that this can really happen. I pray for all of those girls and women who are out there right now fighting this battle. I hope someday this will no longer be an issue but it will continue to be until we face it head on and deliver the justice that these girls and women need!
Believe Like A Child is available at Amazon
Connect with Paige Dearth:
E-mail Paige at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Bearden personally reviewed this book. I did not receive any monitary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. The photo's used in this review were provided by me and my sometimes cranky camera but it was all me with no copied pictures.