This is my second book from Paige Dearth called When Smile's Fade and the first one was Believe Like A Child. Both are about child abuse (physical, verbal, sexual) and it will break your heart but you will cheer Emma on and hope that she never gets caught or knocked down in her battle.
Emma was unloved from the moment she was born. Her earliest memory is being severely beaten by her father, Pepper Murphy, when she was just eight-years-old. Seething with resentment over the sacrifice of his dreams for a woman he cares little about and children he never wanted, Pepper chooses to blame his older daughter. Her mother, Valerie, makes matters worse with her verbal abuse, leaving Emma isolated with a man that had no boundaries in punishing his daughter, taking his abuse to unimaginable levels.
Emma’s father’s coldblooded beatings and the ultimate abuse to which he subjects her, lays the foundation of the person she becomes. As she matures into a resourceful teenager, she is unwilling and unable to stifle her desire for revenge. Reaching her breaking point she can no longer control the impulse to fight back and finally takes matters into her own hands.
Having learned the art of hatred from her father and the mastery of manipulation from her mother, young Emma now sets out to make a better life for herself, leaving the memory of the abused child she had once been behind her. Hardened by the heartless brutality she encounters and the dangerous situations she must overcome in the course of her journey, she faces every challenge that comes her way in her quest for a normal life for herself and for those she loves.
Finally a person emerges from within that guides her toward a better life until she learns of a secret that sets her on the path of ultimate redemption.
Heck, my husband and I both worked and it never seemed to be enough and then when I lost my job, it really hit home! So, I read with dread knowing things would not come out rosy and I have to admit the first part of their trip kind of made me upset because the two older girl's left 13 year old Gracie in the car alone while they partied with some friends after working one night.
While they were partying, 3 young teen boys, homeless themselves, broke into the car that they were living in and all 3 raped Gracie. When Emma & Brianna got back to the car, she was in mortal shock. They found out where the nearest hospital was and took her there to make sure she was okay and then left after the exam was over and the doctor said there wasn't much physical damage.
Now, an adult would have taken that child to a shelter or rape crisis center but these 2 young girl's themselves decided that they could just "talk" her out of it. The problem was though, the abuse from when they lived with their parents was so into Gracie's head because she was always being called the ugly pig while Emma was stunningly beautiful. It didn't take much to push Gracie into thinking she deserved all she got and that Emma would hate her if she ever really said what was on her mind.
I hope that if I was ever to run across someone who needed my help in this way, I know I have the knowledge to know what to look for because of Paige's two books that I have read. They are not pretty and you may not agree with what Emma did to make sure other children did not suffer at the hands of many of the people she came into contact with, BUT, you see, you wouldn't know that unless you walked in her shoes.
So, instead I prayed and wished as I was reading that it would not end badly and I so wanted this one relationship to be "it" for Emma, but darn it all, I did not get my wish. I do understand why but still it made me mad at the story, at the writer, at myself for believing it would end all right for her. She really threw me a curve ball at the very end of this relationship and it haunted me for days. For quite a long while, she hooked me into thinking that Salvatore was Emma's salvation and I should have known with a name like that, it was not meant to be.
Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary 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.