When Smiles Fade by Paige Dearth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Paige Dearth has a way of writing about tough subjects that most people either gloss over or simply skip altogether. She does not pretty it up; she just writes what needs to be said. And although the books she writes are fiction, I have no doubt that there are girls and women out in the world who can relate to what she is not afraid to write about.
When Smiles Fade is the story of Emma, a young girl growing up in an unloving, abusive family. Her father blamed her for his own mistakes; her mother lived in a fantasy world. The only love she receives is from her little sister, Grace, who she tries to protect from the worst of the abuse. Years of abuse leave Emma untrusting and wary, and her choices in the years to come reflect those feelings. While Emma does not always make the right choices, she makes the ones she can live with and she feels are the best for her and those she loves.
Once again, Paige Dearth's characters come alive in this book. The emotion she is able to elicit from her characters and pass on through her words is incredible. I love how the characters' lives in this story intertwined with the characters from her previous story, Believe Like a Child. While the two books are completely stand alone, the story lines overlap, and it was fun to see the interaction between the two.
While this book is not for the faint of heart, I am once again glad that I had the chance to read it. A story like this sticks with you long after the last page and makes you grateful for the life you have.
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