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3.85  ·  Rating details ·  152 ratings  ·  59 reviews
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 gi ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 18th 2014 by Simon Pulse (first published February 18th 2014)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  152 ratings  ·  59 reviews

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Vanya D.
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
NOTE: I received the eARC via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

I wasn't sure I'd be impressed by this novel when I picked it up. The premise sounded good enough, but I had no idea how good the book would actually turn out. It actually had literary merit and made me think of The Help. So, I really liked it.

Writing style:
It was clean, and had the feeling that only a Southern writer can entwine with the words. Written from Becky's POV in the first person style, it made me see every decisi
Jenny - Book Sojourner
Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-arc, read-in-2014
3-1/2 to 4 Stars

Reading 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 no
Feb 16, 2014 rated it liked it
I received this book as an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Read this review and others @

Providence 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 be
Nov 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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 newb ...more
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Nov 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, netgalley, kindle
4.5 stars
Fleeing 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
Dec 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Check out this review and more at our blog:

Release Date: March 2014

Genre: Realistic Fiction

When and Where: Small town Georgia in modern times

Protagonist: Becky, age 16

The 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 c
Nicole (Reading Books With Coffee)
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 home...Becky had to grow up even more. 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 d
Hannah Harvey
Feb 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
There is so much good stuff in this novel. Top of the list would have to be the fantastic main character and narrator Becky. I found her voice in this book to be really strong, unique and able to pull me into her world and her story. It felt real to me and that's something that I love in books.
I really liked the way she told her story, and led us through her life after finding the baby and taking on the role of a mother.
This book was seeped with emotion and great characters who all wove into the
Dec 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is one of these books that you just settle down into and it is a great young adult option for fans of Southern Literature. A lot of the typical elements of that genre can be found there--the small town community, someone dealing with hardships in their life, and people taking care of each other (and, oh yeah, it is set in the South...).

Becky is an interesting character. She was never allowed to be a child--she says from a young age, she was in charge of taking care of her 9 (and counting) y
Bubble Bath Books
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Bubby says:
I loved this book. Loved it. Everything about it is just right. It's nice and clean, it's beautifully written and it has the best characters I've read about in a long time. I agonized with Becky over her choices and her horrible family. I rejoiced with her when Rosie took her in and made her a new family. I blushed with her when it became obvious that John had feelings for her. There are not enough good things I can say about Providence.

Sissy says: Protagonist Becky came from such a
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This was a new type of book for me but I really enjoyed it. This book is nothing but a beautiful story that didn't start out so beautiful.

Becky Miller is such an amazing young girl. She's dealing with her own problems and then happens upon a baby that someone abandoned. At sixteen, Becky decided instead of just dropping her off somewhere else, that she would find ways for her and this beautiful little girl to eat and make a home for her.

Rosie is a n
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Becky just wanted a few moments to herself to read and hide from her father. She did not mean to burn down the family barn. Becky packs her bags and leaves. She hops a train and finds a baby girl left in a duffel bag. Becky knows how to care for a baby thanks to her siblings. The train stops at Watson's Grove, Georgia. Becky figures this is a good place to stop until it is safe to go back home.

Providence is a instant winner! One of the best books of 2014. I would group author, Lisa up there wit
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved every page of this novel. Lisa Cocca gives "Providence" the feel of sitting on your porch on a sweltering day sipping on a cold glass of lemonade. This story is beautiful. Providence is obviously the lesson of this book, but it is one I haven't read too often. Becky, the main character, flees from her home and on her way finds an abandoned baby girl. We get to see their first year together and come to realize that there are no such things as accidents when it comes to life. I didn't want ...more
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Check out the review on my blog: ...more
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm writing this review for teens, parents, and teachers. Despite the hard-hitting social issues--the stigma of teen pregnancy, child abuse, runaways, and high school drop-outs--I would classify PROVIDENCE by Lisa Cocca as a "Clean Read." There is nothing graphic, no sex or violence. The main character, Becky, is shy, sweet, caring, good, self-sacrificing. (I loved the character and cried for her.) If anything, PROVIDENCE is a quiet story.

The author is an excellent writer who writes believable,
May 25, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a very sweet story. Entertaining and full of great characters.
Brandi Kosiner
Mar 10, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Rebecca (Unbound Pages)
This review is also on my blog, The Library Canary.

***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way changed my opinion of the book. The review below is my open and honest opinion.***

2.5 Stars

The plot of this book was very original and not something that I would normally read at all, but since I’ve been trying to read more contemporary, I thought I would give it a try. I enjoyed this book for the most part. It was a quick read and i
Audrey Wilkerson
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. Beck ...more
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sixteen year old Becky comes from a large farming family with a cold, domineering father. When circumstances make Becky flee, she hopes to make a life for herself away from his influence. What she doesn’t expect is to find a newborn baby abandoned in a boxcar, but having helped raise all her own siblings, Becky knows what to do. She ends up in a small town, pretending Baby Girl is hers, and does her best to care for the baby and herself. She has a tough time until she encounters elderly Rosie, w ...more
Dec 02, 2013 rated it liked it
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
A Million Books
May 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: family, secrets, trust
*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*

Review on

So, where do I start? It has taken me a really long time to read this book. A couple of months, I think, including all the times I put it down, and then had to take it back up again, simply because I can't DNF a book.

The synopsis seemed promising, and the cover creative, and I would have loved to have seen how Becky dealt with finding and raising an hour- old abandoned baby with n
I received Providence from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley, Lisa Colozza Cocca, and Merit Press.

I really enjoyed Providence, although the ending didn't quite sit right with me. But I won't let that affect my review because Lisa Colozza Cocca had a real challenge with that ending. As the synopsis says, what do you do when there is no clear right answer? And it's not that I totally disliked the ending, it could have been much worse, but I just wasn't completely sati
Mar 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Providence is the story of Becky, a teenage girl running from a less-than-ideal family situation, and Georgia, the baby girl she finds in a train car.

Overall, I liked Becky as a main character. She's a good girl and always puts the needs of others before herself. However, because of her upbringing, she is a bit judgemental, even though her heart was in the right place for sure. I also felt like sometimes she was just there, taking life as it came, rather than actively working to reach her goals.
May 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
When sixteen-year-old Becky accidently sets the barn on fire, she decides she has no choice but to run from her father's wrath. She hops a train to anywhere but, in the boxcar, she finds a duffle bag with a newborn baby girl inside. She makes a cursory search for the parents but finds nothing to identify them. Becky had spent most of her young life tending to her nine siblings so caring for the infant is something she is more than willing to undertake. She gets off the train in a small town in G ...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Apr 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, young-adult, 2014
3.5 stars. "Providence" is the story of Becky, a young teen trying to create a new life for herself after her family pushes her out. Becky hops a train and finds something that will change her life. When she finds a baby, she realizes that she needs to do everything to take care of the baby as well as herself. Luckily she lands in a friendly town filled with interesting people who have really big hearts. This is a warm tale that reminded me a lot of books like "Where the Heart Is" by Billie Lett ...more
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