Desperate to escape from her stepfather, fifteen-year old Ashley Asher finally finds the courage to confront her mother with painful details of six years of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. To her horror, Ashley’s mother turns her back on her. Only a teacher at her school offers any support. A touching story focused on the themes of abuse, social injustice, racism, peer pressure, bullying, parental responsibility, fear, forgiveness, love, acceptance and hope, which will inspire the millions of abuse victims in America, young and old alike. Suitable for the classroom study. No graphic content.
Conceived on prom night, Ashley’s parents foolishly believe that they are capable of raising a child. Three months after Ashley is born the relationship ends, and Ashley’s mother Cheryl decides to do her best. But, like many women she feels she needs a man to make her feel complete, and in walks Charlie Baker. In the beginning, Charlie treats Ashley just like a dad should, and makes her feel special. Unfortunately, years later he is hoping that she will make him feel special – in a truly horrifying way.
Ashley retreats in her mind when these instances happen, and when she finally has the courage to tell her mother, she is dismissed as having “dreamt it all”. And when she confides in a teacher, and a rape kit confirms their worst fears, her mother still comes to Charlie’s defense. Life is about to change drastically for Ashley, but for the better…at least for the most part. Her father David, and step-mother Bev have opened their home to her, and David is thrilled at the chance to be part of his little girls life. The town of Patience is small, and fully of religious zealots, bigots (including a “secret” Klu Klux Klan), and people willing to turn a blind eye rather than stand up for what is right. But, deep in the heart of this town are the kind of people we all want to know – people willing to fight for everything they believe in.
Although stories like this have been told in the past, Beth Fehlbaum has a wonderful writing style that can tackle such strong subject matters without making you feel distraught while reading. This is an excellent book and one I highly recommend!
About the author:
Beth Fehlbaum drew on her experience working with abused children as an English teacher in writing Courage in Patience. She wrote Courage in Patience to give hope to survivors of abuse. She is an English teacher with an M.Ed. and lives in East Texas.