Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (23 Jan 2013)
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.
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Having previously already read and reviewed one of Paige’s heart wrenching books, I knew when she announced her new book, that I was in for another rollercoaster of a ride.
What leaves you breathless about Paige’s books, and this is no different than the first, is the amount of emotions you find yourself going through as a reader. From the total unexpected anguish that you didn’t see coming from the first page, to the bubble of hope as you travel on a journey with these characters and find yourself crossing your fingers for a happy ending.
Paige gives her characters a surreal quality, that is rare in other books. Taken from experiences of her own, as well as the sensitive matters of such issues, Dearth manages to mould all the pieces in to a pottery of delicate artwork. You feel. You cry. You hope.
Bonds of family are tested again in this novel, as we see love between siblings, bubbling hatred for those who have wronged Emma, and a desire to no longer be the victim but rather to do what it takes and not let life drag you down.
I couldn’t put this book down, something that’s becoming glaringly obvious with every book of Paige’s that I pick up and I hope everyone else picks this up too, and feels the way I felt, and so many other readers too.
On a side note, I just wanted to add something.
Paige first got in touch with me in March 2012, requesting me to read and review her book.
The sincerity and reality of Paige’s book and Paige herself, touched me. I, like so many others now, read her book and a year on, she emailed me to let me know that her first book (the review for which can be found here) had won the National Indie Excellence Book Award 2013. I couldn’t be happier for an author to get such an award, and hope that there’s many more of those to come Paige’s way.