Monday, February 17, 2014

Review: Providence

Title:  Providence 
Series:  None
Author:  Lisa Colozza Cocca
Published:  March 18, 2014 by Merit Press
Source:  A copy was provided by the publisher via Netgalley.  Thank you!
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.
My Review:  This book, while not something I normally enjoy reading, caught my attention with the blurb and made me curious as to how this story would resolve.  With the desire to find out how everything ended with Becky and the little baby Georgia, I jumped into and was immediately hooked by this novel.  

The plot in this book, while slow moving, was something I found very interesting.  I liked seeing the way that Becky fought for both her own survival and for Georgia's.  She had to make some difficult choices and put the baby's safety and welfare over her own at times and I found her devotion and resolve to do the right thing wonderful.  

Becky herself was a character I really liked.  She was charming, polite, and caring to all those she came across.  Her courtesy and manners immediately made me like her.  She was strong and stubborn without being rude was a refreshing change from other YA protagonists I've come across in the past.  She really wanted the best for all those around her and did her best to do the right thing.  I loved her relationship with Georgia and how she grew so much from having the responsibility of raising a child all by herself.  Georgia was a little ray of sunshine in this book and I liked seeing the way she lit up the page and all the other characters when she was around.  

My biggest problem with this book was the ending.  It nearly completely ruined the book for me.  I closed it feeling unsatisfied and, frankly, cheated.  There was no resolve and I was left with a bitterness toward more than a few characters and their actions and decisions.  All of the lessons and themes this book had been building on were immediately ruined by the ending.  

While the majority of the book was full of character growth, southern charm, and heart warming relationships, the ending left more than a little to be desired.  Had Providence ended differently, I would have given this book a higher rating.  

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