Expected Publication is March 18, 2014 by Merit Press|Expected Number Of Pages: 256
Where I Got It: I got an e-ARC from netgalley.com, which hasn’t influenced my review in any way. Promise!
Genre: YA Contemporary
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.
What I Thought:
When I first started to read Providence, I wasn’t sure about it- initially, it seemed like something I wouldn’t like. But as I kept reading,I started to get drawn into Becky’s world.
I felt for Becky, who had to grow up fast. And finding a newborn on a train, and taking her in, and finding a place that becomes her home…Becky had to grow up even more. I’m glad Georgia had people who cared for her, and I’m glad Becky found the same. Something that didn’t set well with me was how Becky’s parents didn’t seem to care that she was gone and that we don’t see them fighting to get Becky back. Still, it fit with why she left and never went back. There is a part of me that wanted to see more of Becky’s life with her parents and life at home because I wanted more to see how much her new life contrasted with her old one.
I loved Rosie and how kind she was. She really did give Becky and Georgia a home and they felt very much like a family. I’m not sure how I feel about Lily, especially with how the book ended. On the one hand, I’m glad Becky and Georgia did find someone who cared about them and would take them in…but at the same time, I loved how Becky did what she needed to do in order to take care of Georgia. Becky really did change a lot over the course of the book, and she has a really bright future ahead of her. Still, it did seem like it was the best decision for everyone.
I will say that I kept picturing the book taking place in the 1950’s. There’s something very old-timey about the town, and it was hard to imagine it taking place in present time. Then again, I’ve never lived in a small town like the one Becky came across, so for all I know, small towns have that good-ole-day kind of feel.
Let’s Rate It:
I have a few issues with Providence, but overall, I really liked it! I liked seeing Becky deal with and overcome some of the things she had happen. And I like how welcoming people were to Becky. Providence gets 4 stars.