This review is part of my Two Weeks of Thanks to book publisher Merit Press. They have generously and continuously provided me with books to review over the past two years.
Becky Miller is on the run. The oldest of ten (with another on the way) in a South Carolina farming family, she’s more drudge than daughter. Her father rules with an iron fist and her mother and the rest of her siblings dare not question his authority. Ever. Becky is barely allowed to attend school, and though she excels there, knows that her father sees college as a waste of time. After an unfortunate accident, her mother tells her to leave for a couple of days so her father can cool down. Becky, however, doesn’t think he ever will.
Stuffing a few things in her backpack, she hops a freight train. The minute she’s aboard, she sees the wiggling bag. Zipping it open, she finds a baby that looks like it is only a few hours old. Is it Providence or dumb luck that has brought them together?
Knowing the baby needs to be fed, Becky disembarks in a tiny town where she meets Mary Rose “Rosie” Perkins, the elderly proprietress of a resale shop called Second Hand Rose. Without a second thought, she offers Becky a job, and, eventually, shelter, no questions asked. Becky knows that she can’t hand the baby over to the police without being scrutinized herself. She keeps an eye on the newspaper to see if anyone is looking for her or the baby, now named Georgia. She hates lying to Rosie about herself and the baby, who the town all assumes is hers, but she just can’t get sent back.
For the first time, she truly feels loved…and at home. But for how long?
Whadja Think?: This is a sweet story about finding your value. It moves along slowly, with no big climax. It’s what I’d call “very clean.” Much of the “bad parts” (mean father, someone had a baby out of wedlock, we are to assume) have to be imagined as there is not much detail. It feels like something that would have been published for kids thirty to fifty years ago; small town, farm life, no cell phones, etc. The ending is strange, though; it just…ends. Almost in the middle of a sentence. Does this mean there will be a sequel? There are certainly many issues that were not resolved, so it would be easy to have one.
To Read or Not To Read: If you’re in the mood for something low-key, realistic and thoughtful, especially amid the current landscape of dystopian conflicts, torrid romances and magical realms, this is your story.
Providence by Lisa Colozza Cocca was published Match 18, 2014 by Merit Press. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review. Big thanks to Merit Press and the Author.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction Contemporary
Ages: 13 and up
You Might Want to Know: Nothing of note