Review: When Smiles Fade by 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 received this book via NetGalley to give an honest review.

The cover is powerful and the blurb draws you in. Honestly when I read the other book by this author and saw this one I knew I had to read it. Am I said I did yes. It is a book that is not for the faint of heart. Everything that Emma and her sister go through is just heartbreaking on so many levels. 

Emma and her sister Gracie are constantly beaten as children the story starts off very powerful in what happens with that and it breaks your heart to read about it. Then rape comes into play. And we watch as Emma and Gracie continue living in a house that they are not loved in. Emma finally decides it is best for her and her sister to leave after their mother gets a new man in her life. How their mother could let her girls get treated like that just drove me nuts .
The things that Emma and her sister go through are something that no one should experience and sadly enough it changes Emma into a killer. Do I agree on a certain level I do. 
Now when Emma and her sister move out it is not all biscuits and gravy. They live in a car, another rape occurs, Emma becomes a stripper, they move out. Emma dates a guy who is no good, she meets someone else it is all good, then he is married and works for the mafia. And it goes on back and forth with the decisions that Emma makes for not only herself but her sister and eventually her niece. Some decisions are good ones and others are not. The one thing that I did like Emma for is the fact that she always tried to take care of her family which was her sister and niece. You can tell she had love for them both and tried to look out for them the best she could.
I have to say the constant thing that bothered me was the raping. There seemed to be so much of it. I can understand that plays a bit part within the story line but sometimes too much of something is not good.
The author did a great job with the world she created even with it being terrifying and filled with unhappiness. I have to say the ending was something I was not even expecting though I thought well we had to know it was going to have to happen. But I thought once she put her past behind her all would be forgotten. The person at the end should have known Emma was going to get revenge look at all those before who hurt her and her love ones.

Again I will say this book is not for the faint of heart. Scenes are graphic nothing is held back it is intense, and will have you flipping pages to see what else can be thrown in the lives and faces of Emma and Gracie. 

Paige Dearth
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.
WHEN SMILES FADE Paige’s second novel is a tale of endurance, perseverance, courage and the overwhelming desire of one child to fight back.
Paige’s novels always present a fine balance between what lives on in her imagination and the evil that lurks in the real world.


“When your mind is quiet and you listen closely, you will hear the children weeping silently. If you can’t quite hear their cries, then listen with your eyes. These are the children of the streets, who have learned pain and suffering before they ever had a chance to experience life. Do not ignore their cries for help, for all they wish is that you will rescue them. They do not have a family that wants them, they don’t know how it feels to be loved and they’ve never lived anywhere that felt like home…the streets are where they find their voice and relief from all of the suffering.
Just listen and you’ll see them.”
~Paige Dearth


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