br>”When no one else would save her, she saved herself …”
From children’s book author Danielle Saintard Valiente — whose Smunchkin Learns book series has empowered children to embrace the power of bravery, friendship and loyalty — comes a heartbreakingly raw memoir about growing up without the innocence and comforts of a storybook childhood. 180 Degrees: Emerging from Childhood Darkness is Danielle’s debut book for the adult market and has been heralded as “raw, courageous and authentic.”
It’s an unforgettable story about a young woman who fought her way out of a terrifying and abusive childhood, emerging from emotional darkness into the light of a life that finally offered safety and possibility. Open the pages of this book to discover how a teenager — with nothing but perseverance and hope — left her toxic family, walked through the fires of homelessness and financial struggle, confronted her deep-rooted emotional demons, and began to build — for the very first time — a clear sense of purpose that goes beyond mere survival.
A Rare Glimpse Inside the Horror Story That Preceded the “Success Story”
If you were to meet Danielle Saintard Valiente today, you’d think she has it all: a thriving interior design business, a beautiful home, a devoted and loving husband, dear friends, meaningful hobbies and passions, the appearance of perfect health and happiness. Her adult life is a 180-degree turn from her childhood life. There were cruel words and traumas that, in reading about them, will haunt you — interactions and epiphanies that will make you rethink your own definitions of family, love, security, strength, resilience, hope and grit.
Travel with Danielle back to the unrelenting physical abuse, the incessant cruelty and neglect, the fear, pain, terror, loss and shame of a childhood that no child should endure. Witness her undying optimism and big heart, even from the youngest age, which gave her hope of a better future. Experience with her the secrets she kept, the friendships she forged, and the coping mechanisms that would later backfire.
Two Lives, One Spirit
Recalling her childhood in Leominster, Massachusetts, Danielle says:
“There was never a care in the world … outside of the house. I tried to stay outside as many hours as possible, because once I walked through the darkness of the front door, it was like the universe shifted and I shifted right along with it. I lived in two completely different worlds. I was living two different lives, with two different versions of Danielle.”
Inside that house was a cast of characters tailor-made for dysfunction and despair: the psychologically abusive and broken mother, the alcoholic and unpredictable father, the violent adrenaline-junkie brother, and the fearless and manipulative little sister. As for Danielle, she was an over-achiever and a rebel, a full-time socialite and a part-time nerd, a hard worker and a grudge holder. Hers was a home that demanded silence and invisibility, but Danielle was born to be heard. The results were explosive.
180 Degrees is a book for everyone who has ever dared to believe that their value exceeds the shame of their past … a book for everyone who has faced daunting challenges while chasing big dreams, with nothing but the strength to wake up again tomorrow and keep trying.