Author: Lisa Colozza Cocca
Publisher: Merit Press
Publication Date: March 18, 2014
Source: I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
The eldest of ten children on a dirt-poor farm, Becky trudges through life as a full-time babysitter, trying to avoid her father's periodic violent rages. When the family's barn burns down, her father lays the blame on Becky, and her own mother tells her to run for it. Run she does, hopping into an empty freight car. There, in a duffel bag, Becky finds an abandoned baby girl, only hours old. After years of tending to her siblings, sixteen-year-old Becky knows just what a baby needs. This baby needs a mother. With no mother around, Becky decides, at least temporarily, this baby needs her. When Becky hops off the train in a small Georgia town, it's with baby "Georgia" in her arms. When she meets Rosie, an eccentric thrift-shop owner, who comes to value and love Becky as no one ever has, Becky rashly claims the baby as her own. Not everyone in town is as welcoming as Rosie, though. Many suspect Becky and her baby are not what they seem. Among the doubters is a beautiful, reclusive woman with her own terrible loss and a long history with Rosie. As Becky's life becomes entangled with the lives of the people in town, including a handsome boy who suspects Becky is hiding something from her past, she finds her secrets more difficult to keep. Becky should grab the baby and run, but her newfound home and job with Rosie have given Becky the family she's never known. Despite her guilt over leaving her mother alone, she is happy for the first time. But it's a happiness not meant to last. When the truth comes out, Becky has the biggest decision of her life to make. Should she run away again? Should she stay--and fight? Or lie? What does the future hold for Becky and Georgia? With a greatness of heart and a stubborn insistence on hope found in few novels of any genre, "Providence" proves that home is where you find it, love is an active verb, and family is more than just a word.
Providence is the story of Becky, a teenage girl running from a less-than-ideal family situation, and Georgia, the baby girl she finds in a train car.
Overall, I liked Becky as a main character. She's a good girl and always puts the needs of others before herself. However, because of her upbringing, she is a bit judgemental, even though her heart was in the right place for sure. I also felt like sometimes she was just there, taking life as it came, rather than actively working to reach her goals. On the other hand, sometimes I was confused by Becky's actions, especially the way she acted towards Lily. I know Becky had Georgia's best interests at heart, but I'm still not sure why she couldn't trust Lily more. Rosie was a really sweet old lady, although I definitely found some of her actions unrealistic.
There were a few unrealistic things that happened in this book. Becky and Georgia had a real stroke of luck meeting Rosie. If that hadn't happened, I'm sure this would have been a much different, grittier book.
This book has hints of romance, but nothing really comes to fruition in that respect, which is probably pretty realistic, considering Becky's situation. although the boy in question is clearly a damn saint!
I'm not sure how I feel about the ending of this one. I thought it was going to go a certain way, but it didn't. I'm not 100% happy with how it ended, but am having trouble putting my finger on exactly why.
Overall, I did enjoy Providence, especially the first half. It's a fairly quick read and, despite being a bit unrealistic in my opinion, I would recommend it for fans of contemporaries that aren't too gritty.
Also, fair warning to my fellow animal-lovers, there's a certain flash-back scene that made me uncomfortable and very angry. Just be warned.
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