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Providence

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  • Posted May 25, 2014

    My opinion on this light novel varied throughout, and so also my

    My opinion on this light novel varied throughout, and so also my final rating. I would’ve originally gone with a four-star rating, but the last twenty-five percent of the story was incredibly frustrating, and I couldn’t wait for it to end. I finally decided to go with a three-star rating for various reasons. Still, I enjoyed Providence, and I’m glad I took a chance on it.

    First of all, the entire concept of a seventeen-year-old runaway coincidentally discovering an abandoned days-old infant in a train cart on the exact same day she decides to run away from home, didn’t sit well with me. My disbelief didn’t end there though. As a mother of two boys I find it difficult to get my mind around the idea that said seventeen-year-old runaway could raise an abandoned infant with the same amount of patience, tolerance, and understanding which few first-time mothers possess and which can only be learned through experience. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I just didn’t find it plausible. She claims to have the necessary experience taking responsibility for a newborn as she has helped her mother raise nine of her siblings, yet she makes formula for the baby with cold, unsterilized tap water? And the baby doesn’t get sick nor has any stomach cramps? Sorry dude, but I’m not falling for that. I could believe that Becky loved the baby with her entire heart, but again, there’s no way she could have the patience displayed by her in this story for a child which isn’t hers. 

    Apparently she kept an eye on the papers to see if anyone reported a missing baby, but why didn’t she go to the police? Understandably she doesn’t want them to find out she ran away from home, and of course I can accept that. But where it got a little ridiculous for me is when Rose, when she is finally told the truth, just accepts it, asks no questions, and doesn’t really want to hear any more about where Becky and the baby comes from. When people in town asks questions about Becky and the baby, you know, the ones who doesn’t blindly accept a young girl with a baby that looks nothing like her and who keeps secrets about her past, Rose shushes them and tells them not to ask any questions. The cherry on the cake for me was how easily Becky’s family accepted that she ran away from home, and then tells her never to come back (in a letter). I understand her father would never ever win the father of the year award, but did her mother really accept her disappearance so easily? Aren’t her siblings missing her? How can anyone not be looking for her? Doesn’t she have any other family or friends? Though all this didn’t really distract me from enjoying the story, these questions were constantly going through my mind.

    I liked most of the characters, and I’d love to have someone as accepting as Rosie in my life. Who wouldn’t? She turns a blind eye to practically everything! For an eighty-eight-year-old she’s quite lively and full of energy. That was another thing I didn’t always find plausible, but it was the least of my concerns. I liked her character very much and left it at that. In stark contrast, I liked Becky’s character less and less. By the end I really couldn’t wait to get away from her. The three things that really annoyed me about her character, especially from the middle to the conclusion of the book, were her passiveness, aloofness, and how she pushed the people who wanted to help her or who wanted to be friends, away from her. Take Lydia for instance. Lydia is unbelievably pushy and harsh, and generally not a likeable character. But where I didn’t like her much in the first seventy-five percent of the book, she redeems herself magnificently in the last twenty-five percent or so. 

    What I did enjoy about Providence, and which made it bearable to read from start to end, was the close bond that formed between Rosie and Becky. Like I said before, Rosie is a phenomenal character and her faith in people is unequaled. It’s hard to believe her granddaughter wants almost nothing to do with her. I also liked how Becky contributed in breathing new life into the small town that became her and baby Georgia’s new home. 

    The romance between John and Becky can hardly be called that as nothing really happens between them. I couldn’t even see what John would see in her as she’s so closed off. So little interaction happens between them anyway, it’s not a novel I’d recommend to romance junkies. They’ll be severely disappointed, though I wasn’t. The last thing I needed was for that storyline to be dragged out in an already slow book. Luckily I was spared from that.  

    Providence is a book with which you’ll need to have a lot of patience. It’s a nice story and I liked that it’s different. But that’s all it is. It’s just nice. Most of it comprises of Becky and Rosie’s daily doings. No character growth, as far as I’m concerned, as Becky is already very mature for her age, more so than you’d expect from your average seventeen-year-old. There were no conflict (nothing to get excited about, at least), no twists, no suspense, nothing. Yet, I couldn’t put it down every time I picked it up to continue to the next chapter. For me it was just an okay read, but I definitely would like to see what else this author has to offer. 

    I received an eARC for review from the publisher via NetGalley.

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  • Posted April 9, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I wanted to read Providence because I like the premise of her

    I wanted to read Providence because I like the premise of her finding the baby, needing to escape home, and finding acceptance and love in the small town where she gets off the train. I have read another book similar to it, except the girl took her little sister because her mom was on drugs I think.
    I liked the story well enough, it for me just pushes the boundary of realism. I am sure that something like this could happen, but I guess I have a hard time believing that she could make it with a little girl on her own knowing no one, and that her parents wouldn't come looking for her. I understand that they were a farm family and her dad had a temper, but with the mom and 9 other siblings, and her leaving without notice and not being of age, it just breaks my heart that they wouldn't look for her or care that she is gone.
    The small town feeling was amazing in this one. She happens upon the nicest lady, Rosie who gives her a job and eventually takes her and baby girl Georgia into her home. But some of the other town members, reasonably, ask questions, and it makes Becky uncomfortable to lie, but some she can't escape. The way they described the main street and everyone up in other's business really gave it an authentic ring to it and almost made me think this was a historical fiction, but there is still mentions of texting and other such modern conveniences, so that threw that idea.
    The bond between Rosie and Becky I think is what made me keep reading this book. Oh and the mentions of John and hints at romance that unfortunately didn't come to fruititon like I would have hoped. But that is another thing, that romance and any thoughts of that were squashed by Becky and she was being responsible in the ways that counted for baby Georgia even if there were many things she was doing wrong. Rosie is so sweet and unasuming but she also pushes Becky to be the best she can be.
    I didn't feel like Becky had enough personality though, she was kind of just there and leading the story, I didn't get a whole lot of feeling for who she was besides the generic daughter, sister, and caregiver of Georgia. I did like that she was selfless towards Georgia and Rosie, putting their needs first and that she was a hard worker. The most I got from her really was that she liked to read, and when she was decorating the store or making things I almost got that breakthrough of what she loved and who she could become. Though I suppose to be fair, by the ending where she had Rosie vested in her as well as another townsperson the mysterious Lily on her side, she began to think some of the what-ifs, and how could it work.
    The ending worked for this one, but I guess I just wanted more information about Becky's choices and how it works out. And more of John...

    Bottom Line: Good contemporary with secondary characters I loved. Becky and romance just fell a little short.

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