Title: When Smiles Fade
Author: Paige Dearth
Emma was unloved from the moment she was born. Her earliest memory is being severely beaten by her father, Pepper Murphy, when she was 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 oldest 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.
I had to take a small break after reading her One Among Us book. It was a great book but it did take a tole on me because I have children that are the same age and it just hit close to home for me. I couldn’t wait to start another one of her books though. I love her writing. It is so raw, dark, gritty and a side that I never thought much about. I look at people who are on the street different now. I never put much thought into what their story might be. That being said after I had a few light reads under my belt I jumped right into this one. I wanted to know more about Emma because we get a little bit of info about her in One Among Us. I was left wondering what happened with her. So I was excited to learn more about her story.
This one broke my heart as much as the first, this one was easier for me to read but there is just as much heartbreak in it. Now I know that there are parents like this out there in the real world and it hurts my heart to know that there are children who feel completely unsafe, and scared to be home. There are so many things that happen and I felt like just when she was able to catch a break something else would happen.
I have read a total of 2 of her 3 books and after finishing this one up I will say that reading the next one is an absolute guarantee and I WILL be reading it. She can pull you in and make you feel like you are there living the situations. She has a way of writing that brings to light so many issues that many don’t want to know about or would much rather not think about. She helps get a story across in a way that you will never judge another person because you truly don’t know their story.
Now there were a few aspects in this story that were a bit over the top, not saying that they are unrealistic; I mean I know I was 100% behind Emma on the first 2 situations I am talking about specifically. There are 3 others that happen that I was kind of ehh about but over all the last one I thought was pretty good. She had to do what she needed to do to survive and I think that for that reason alone I can understand.
This story is not for everyone, there are some situations that may be a trigger for some and some may just find very difficult to read and get through. I believe that is what is great about books, you will have so many that may or may not enjoy a story. What one person may love another may not.
Paige Dearth has become an author that I will read what she puts out because she just has a way of pulling me in.
I love that her books are LONG, I feel like I get a complete story not a story that ends after 200 pages and I am left with questions. These though are so long that I just feel like everything is answered. The only thing I was not a big fan of was the way she would end some chapters. Giving you an idea of what is to come. I like to find out what is going to happen as I read and it happens not to know at the end of one chapter what is destined to be her downfall or whatnot. That is honestly the only thing that I had an issue with. Everything else I enjoyed. Very Much.