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 homeBecky had to grow up even 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 of Becky s life with her parents and life at home because I wanted 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 inbut 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. Stepping into sixteen year old Becky s mind and heart is a journey well worth taking Providence by Lisa Colozza Cocca is a moving tale of a very poor young girl who has spent her entire life under the thumb of an often cruel father, being a surrogate mother to her nine younger siblings The final straw finally sends Becky running from the suffocation of the only life she has known Without a plan, she hops aboard a freight train, discovering a small bag that will change her life forever A newborn infant is bundled into a small duffle, left alone in the world Without hesitation, Becky takes the baby girl and after a brief search to find her parents, and not knowing what to do, she keeps her As she wanders, foraging for food for the baby, sleeping anywhere she can find, she comes across Rosie, an eccentric second hand shop owner who knows Becky is hiding something, but slowly enfolds both her and the baby into her life and home Becky is fiercely protective of the baby and finds an outlet for the love she both longs to give and to receive Becky s talents and simple grace, along with her need to see life as beautiful finds this small town opening up to her in a heart warming way, proving to her that home isn t necessarily where you were born, but where your heart is filled with love.Lisa Colozza Cocca has used Becky s voice and thoughts to tell her story, from the eyes of a teen, who has never had much and is determined to make it in the world Brilliantly detailing the real responsibilities of caring for an infant, from the constant changing, to the every two hours of feeding, the expenses and exhaustive hours spent being there for a child Ms Cocca has laid bare the daily reality of being a parent, and Becky is far beyond her years in patience and the capacity for selflessness I enjoyed the way she dug in and made it real, not a dreamy, fluffy version of life as a parent Anyone who would find this boring or repetitive definitely is NOT up for task Ms Cocca writes with a soft hand, gently unfolding this heart warming and sometimes heart breaking journey she leads Becky on This is a story of hope and growth, and futures never dreamed of coming true, a story of the unselfishness of real love Wonderful writing, magnetic I received an ARC edition from Merit Press in exchange for my honest review.Publication Date February 18, 2014Publisher Merit PressISBN 9781440569272Genre YA FictionNumber of Pages 256Available from Barnes Noble Thank you Netgalley for allowing me read and review this early I think this is a beautiful book with an interesting and unique topic It s all about a girl growing up earlier than she should have to and learning responsibility That being said, the ending really doesn t sit well with me.First off, I love Becky She is just a 16 year old kid who finds a baby and wants to do right by her Sure, it s not the legal way but that doesn t make it any less right in my mind Readers get to see how she grows and develops into this lovely young woman with a baby who she adopted in her own mind I also liked Rosie an 88 year old woman who knows when someone needs help and is willing to grant everyone a chance The dynamic between these two is wonderful and gives the story the depth it needs.However, I really disliked the ending to this I get why it had to be that way, but I still don t think it was right for Lily to adopt Georgia I think, with a proper investigation and Lily s offer to adopt Becky, Becky should have been able to adopt Georgia, allowing her to grow up in that home For some reason, it felt like from the beginning Lily was going to adopt the baby and it made me dislike her, like a lot We grow with Becky as she raises this baby as her own but in the end she is not allowed to be the mother, no matter how much she did for Georgia It just left a poor taste in my mouth Also, I felt like the time was a bit wonky, one minute it would be one day and then all of a sudden a week would pass I think it could have been done in a better, coherent manner In addition, the transitions in the middle of chapters could be improved to help the flow.Overall, I give this 3 5 stars because I love the growth and depth of Becky, she really made the novel I just wish the ending reflected of the story as a whole. I received this book as an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review.Read this review and others is a good story shrouded in monotony I really wanted to like this book because it is very different than a book I would typically read.Becky and Rosie were endearing Georgia helped to give the story substance BUT and that is one big but I became tired of reading the every move of the characters.Becky changes Georgia, cooks dinner, tucks in Rosie, goes to bed, doesn t sleep, wakes up, thinks about stuff, goes to the store, eats lunch, feeds Georgia, eats dinner, goes to bed and sleeps a little And on and on and on again.I liked the idea of unconditional love and the desire for something better for Georgia.I liked the small town relationships that people built in the story, with a willingness to help one another out whenever needed.I even liked John, who was understanding and kind to Georgia, Rosie and Lily.BUTI didn t like the slooowwww progression of events.I didn t like the explanation of everything written in place of the turbulence that could actually occur in this situation.And finally, I didn t like that finally a climax seems to climb out from the pages within the last chapters and it ends so abruptly, with little trepidation that it hardly seems important at all. 4.5 starsFleeing her father after an incident with the barn, Becky hops a freight train out of town hoping to start a new life It is what is inside this freight car that will change the course of Becky s life forever Inside one of the railcars, placed in a duffle bag tucked in the corner, is an abandoned baby This responsibility was not on 16 year old Becky s list of travels when she jumped onboard but she realizes she cannot leave this newborn baby Becky decides to care for this baby until she can find its mother As the train stops in Watson s Grove, Becky needs to find the necessities for the child As she walks into the thrift shop owned by Rose, it was like destiny Rose and Becky hit it off and before Becky walked out the door, she has a job at the thrift shop and most of what she needed for the time being The people of Watson Grove are typical of most small towns, some spread gossip about the new mother and child and some were excited to see the new faces in town Becky has to be creative about her past and the baby s short history as the town folk want answers about their lives while Becky continues to search for answers herself As Becky settles in, she also thinks about her parents and her siblings on the farm Her mind is never far from the ranch and wondering if they are also thinking about her It is small town living with drama, love and secrets This story will touch your heart.I fell in love with this book from the first couple pages As Becky walked off the farm and started on her adventure, I knew the couch was going to be my home for a while Becky was confused about her role at home before she left When she finally set off and hit the tracks, she was going to do what she wanted to do.finally but that all changed when she came upon the bag She never contemplated what to do, I liked that That said a lot about the character of Becky She did try a few times to locate the mother but she didn t question her decision That theme carried all the way through the book Watson Grove reminded me of the small town my grandparents lived it How they would decorate for the holidays, the chatter, the hospitality, the gossip reading the book took me back to when I was a child and would visit there The author did an excellent job describing the characters and the setting oh, the memories The ending, it was perhaps the best ending possible but for Becky..I would have been reluctant and wanted a lawyer It just was wrapped up a bit too tight for me.Thank you Net Galley for providing me a free copy to review This is my own opinion of the book. This review and others also posted at Tangled Bookmarks I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A wonderful story idea that just didn t get there for me The story is there, but ultimately, the execution of it let it down.A cast of cardboard characters, with only the main protagonist Becky, and the elderly Rosie coming close to being fully fleshed out The romantic interest John, is so one dimensional, that he could have been left out of the story completely and never been missed I wasn t even really sure what his role was, other than to show how responsible Becky is becoming by deciding that as attracted to him as she was, she must put Baby Girl and her other responsibilities first.A lot of telling and not enough showing A lot of paragraphs where the first word of each sentence was I I changed Baby Girl s diaper I fed her I put her down in the crib I rubbed her back till she fell asleep I made lunch for us I had a shower. Constantly Apparently Becky s father was rather abusive, only we re not really shown any of that other than a fairly shocking scene involving a kitten we re only told The majority of backstory we receive about Becky s family is by her either thinking about what they would have done in a certain situation, or little throwaway lines about how her father would never have bought the school photographs so she always felt rather hard done by when her other classmates were swapping their photos The oldest of ten children, we never even find out about any of her siblings One or two are mentioned briefly, but that s about it As a teenager who has up and left her entire family, I kept waiting for Becky to talk about at least one sibling she was perhaps close to, but nothing.As a young girl arriving in a small town with a baby, she receives her fair share of dirty looks and attitude at being a teenage mother I think Actually, only one person in the entire book really glares at her the waitress in the local diner And the mother of a possible friend assumes Becky is babysitting Ah, that s about it really The possible friendship with a young girl she meets in the library Sarah goes absolutely nowhere You get the sense Becky and Sarah would end up being BFF s, but there is so little interaction between them, that you start to wonder why Sarah is even there.Ultimately, what could have been a lovely coming of age tale of a young girl who starts to receive the only love and friendship she has really known, and discovers herself in caring for a young baby, dissolves into a tale of cardboard cut out characters, and mediocre writing I could see the potential for Providence being a sweet, tender tale of facing up to responsibilities and first love but it just didn t make it. I was provided with a copy of Providence by F W Adams Media in exchange for an honest review.Providence isn t the kind of book I usually read but the cover art caught my attention and the description drew me in and I found myself having to know what happened.We follow the story of a teenage girl called Becky, who leaves home and discovers a baby in a train carriage They arrive in a small town in Georgia, are taken in by a kind shopkeeper and Becky tries to do what s best for the baby, whose parents don t seem to be coming forward to claim her.I found Providence to be a really easy to pick up and heartwarming read The relationship between Becky and Rosie was probably my favourite part as it really brought the story to life.Both Rosie and Becky were all round good people and the way Rosie treated two strangers was refreshing Admittedly I found her overwhelming kindness and trust a little convenient for Becky, but I told the cynic in me to shut up and remember that there really are people like Rosie in the world.The ending relating to the baby seemed a little obvious perhaps half way through the story and it didn t really sit with me well when it happened, but let me explain why I m not annoyed by that.The result wasn t the one I wanted but as the book explained it was for the best and I take my uneasiness about the ending as a sign that the author really made me feel for Becky, because that s how she felt about the solution Though she might not have liked it, in the end it was the best decision should could make and showed how much she cared.I had one niggle with Providence whenever I read about the high street I pictured it being set in the 50s I m not sure if that s because I haven t experienced a small American town myself or been into a shop like the Second Hand Rose, but I struggled to picture it in the present day.That aside I really enjoyed Providence and it showed me that I should occasionally leave the cosy arms of the dystopian genre.If you re looking for a well written, easy to pick up read about friendship, trust and doing the right thing, then you should give Providence a go. Check out this review and at our blog Date March 2014Genre Realistic FictionWhen and Where Small town Georgia in modern timesProtagonist Becky, age 16The Story Hoping to avoid her abusive father until he becomes less enraged, Becky runs away at the advice of her mother and seeks shelter in an empty train car Becky is stunned to find a tiny baby, perhaps only hours old Relying on the experience of having cared for several younger siblings, Becky claims the tiny baby as her own and begins an unexpected journey towards a life she could never have expected In tiny Watson s Grove, Becky becomes both friend and family to Rosie, owner of the Second Hand Rose consignment store Struggling to provide the best of care to baby Georgia and to take care of herself, Becky hides Georgia s story of abandonment and lives as a teen parent Despite the town s initially close minded response to Becky, the townspeople gradually open their hearts to both young mother and child, and soon Becky learns the value of putting trust and faith in humanity Reaction Sweetly and beautifully written, Providence is crafted in the manner of small towns and the people who live in them The pacing of the tale moves in a similar manner, at times moving quickly, while at other times rambling slowly about, taking the reader on an unexpected journey of a character s growth over a period of time Author Lisa Colozza Cocca weaves a plot that is reflects the goodness of humanity, and she successfully keeps the reader uncertain of Becky and Georgia s fate up to the final pages Providence is truly a unique read.If You Liked Where the Heart Is, Taking Care of Max, and books that study and reveal human frailties and reality, then Providence is for you.Rating 4Teacher Notes Providence is for thoughtful readers who enjoy stories involving character development This would also be an excellent book to use for teaching internal dialogue. 3 1 2 to 4 StarsReading Providence was like taking a stroll down a country road Enjoying the beauty all around Not knowing what is around the corner, but looking forward to the surprise and the adventure I felt like I was walking amongst friends, neither in a rush to get ahead nor wanting to stay behind, but simply wanting to enjoy every moment I could with them on our journey Walking in Becky s shoes felt just like that.Becky is a sweet, country girl, in incredibly sad circumstances, who not only is without a home, but has stumbled upon an abandoned baby, bonding the two of them instantly To most this would be a daunting predicament, but to Becky, she simply forges ahead No matter what happens, Becky is a fighter, determined to make the most of anything that comes her way, not wanting to be a burden on anyone Her journey, discovering not only new friends, but finding the strength of who she is, and the value of her worth Becky also meets some wonderful people, creating her own family along the way Rosie is a true gem, and won my heart John is subtle but sweet, and I only wish there was of him There are others who will test your perceptions of them, but they all serve a purpose And the story grows and blooms and culminates into a touching, heartfelt ending, shining with a beautiful message It s also a nice, clean YA story, which was refreshing More dialogue, particularly on Becky s part, would have made this story even better for me We get a lot of Becky s thoughts, but don t quite get enough of her verbal interactions with people, and for me that limited her personality It needed stronger showing, less telling This stilted some of the character interactions, and hindered the minor romance A bit to the ending, perhaps an epilogue, would have also been great But overall, I enjoyed this sweet story, and its change of pace And it s refreshing to read a YA book I m comfortable recommending to my friend s daughter. 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 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 Than Just A Word When Year Old Becky Miller Rescues An Abandoned Newborn, A Nontraditional Family Is Born, Attracting Other Warm Hearted Women Into Its Folds Reading Providence Is Like Cozying Up With Longtime Friends In Front Of A Homey Fire Sherry Shahan, Author Of Skin And Bones Albert Whitman Co A Beautifully Written Tale About Trying To Make The Right Choice When There Might Not Be One Wendy Mass, Author Of A Mango Shaped Space Little Brown Books For Young Readers
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