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Daughter of Providence

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  114 ratings  ·  21 reviews

Julie Drew's extraordinary novel is a breakthrough work in the tradition of Richard Russo and Annie Proulx. summer, 1934: Anne Dodge, raised by her old-money father in a small Rhode island coastal town, has always been told that her mother abandoned them. But then Anne learns that she has a half- sister, Maria Cristina --and when Maria Cristina comes to live with Anne and
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published August 4th 2011 by Harry N. Abrams (first published July 7th 2011)
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3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  114 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Jul 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
Im torn on my star rating...

Let's start with what I didnt like. I did NOT like the geography of this story. (I live in RI) Rhode Island is the smallest state in the US, is it too hard to dig up a map and figure where your fictional town is situated relative to any actual places you want to include? There is absolutely no way fictional South County Town Milford could have been located *on* Narragansett Bay, *on* the "salt ponds", *very close to* Point Judith Light, *on* Misquamicut River (which d
Anne McLaughlin
Jun 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
Oh well. I really wanted to like this book because of the setting - RI where I live - the history, and the family situations. Even in spite of literary license in local interest, some things don't quite jive. I was a bit confused in the beginning of the book who the focus of the book would be - the Maria Christina or her older sister Anne. Anne Dodge, a young college educated woman in the 30's is portrayed as rather limply struggling to come to terms with many things in her life, her heritage of ...more
Patricia O'Sullivan
Dec 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Dodge family was among the first to settle in Rhode Island back when it was a colony and now, in 1934, they are among one of the most respected families in the seaside town of Milford. But there are secrets in the Dodge family that are too unseemly to discuss such as why Samuel Dodge’s Portuguese wife left him and her young daughter, Anne, fifteen years ago and why, after all this time, Anne’s half-sister, Maria Cristina, has come to live with the Dodges. But Anne, both discomfited and embol ...more
I've labeled this "historical novel" because of the time period. I think the author did a good job of capturing the tensions of 1934. I've labeled it airplane reading because you don't have to think very hard to keep up with it, and it will keep you entertained. There are sections that are melodramatic, like a made for TV movie. As long as you are not expecting great depth, but just to be entertained, then this is a readable book. It's a first novel, with all the contrivances that many first nov ...more
Nov 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Historical fiction based in RI - how could I resist. What I found was a compelling story set in the 30's when Ana and her father take up the care of Ana's sister by the mother who deserted them. Ana's father is a mill owner trying to revive his mill amidst early attempts to unionize. But this is basically a story about "others". Other nationalities, other religions, other classes of people and the bad decisions that the characters make based on their prejudices. Maria Christina, the lost sister ...more
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book- it was a quick read that had many layers to it. Like many of the other reviews stated, it was hard to put down. It is a story that takes place in 1934 told in first person by the main character, Annie, and how her life, as well as many others, were affected by a series of lies she discovers when her half sister comes to live with her and her father. Another plus, Julie Drew teaches at The University of Akron!
Mary Lou
Jan 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
It is a slow start but is worth reading especially if you are from New England ~ more so if you are from RI as I am. Author went to great efforts to catch the sense of coastal Rhode Island living ~ how important the fishing and mill industries were in the 30s. I had a hard time believing that she wasn't a 'native' Rhode Islander!
Mar 03, 2016 rated it liked it
A story that took place in 1934 of a failed mill with the hopes of reopening. Anne is a 24 year old girl that welcomes her half sister of 13 into their home with the father. The girls become very close but the father does not accept the younger daughter. It was a heart felt story, but not a light read.
Diane S ☔
Aug 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
3 1.2 Story set in Rhode Island in the 1930's. Her mother having left her when she was young, Annie finds out and takes in a younger sister who she believes is her half sister. Her father is not to thrilled, because the younger sister looks just like the wife who left him. Many secrets are revealed and everyone in the family is changed forever.
Aug 26, 2012 rated it really liked it

Daughter of Providence is a great quick "summer read". The characters were well developed in the story line, nice twists & turns, keeps the reader

interested!! I could not put this one down!! Very enjoyable.
Margo Brooks
Interesting novel about family ties and secrets, prejudice and need. Set in 1930s Rhode Island this novel explores the plight of mill towns during the depression and the prejudice that keeps even the closest of people too far apart.
Ellen Mandly
Nov 30, 2012 rated it liked it
3 stars, however the read gets a giant thumbs down for the WORST Portuguese accent ever! It was a cross between Spanish and Italian with a feta topping! The story was just ok, only the RI location kept me from giving up.
Beth Johnston
Aug 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
A well told story of post depression Rhode Island. The book includes many threads; Union vs. struggling company, Catholic vs. Protestant, Portuguese vs. English, and with a death or two thrown in.
Apr 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I think this book does a good job of making us realize there is no absolute good or bad and it is all wrapped up together. A small glimpse into labor unions in the 30's
Marie Staubitz
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
The ending was depressing
Shirley Lally
Dec 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
It managed to incorporate a lot of Rhode Island ambiance and history into a Family story.
May 01, 2012 rated it liked it
I took a lot of breaks reading this book. I had a hard time getting in to it. It ended up being okay.
Mary Beth
OK. The book was mildly entertaining but ultimately predictable.
Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
A little slow at first, but worth the read!
Feb 21, 2013 rated it liked it
A very tragic story.
Terri Cook
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