Daughter of Providence
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 emboldened by Maria Cristina, is no longer afraid to ask questions even though she knows that their answers will challenge everything she’s been raised to believe about her family.
This is a beautifully written novel rich with descriptive scenes of New England and well-drawn characters who illustrate the clash of cultures and classes at the height of the labor movement there. Like the hot summer in which it takes place, the story begins in a deliciously languid manner, allowing the reader to enjoy getting to know each character and his or her back story. But then, as summer turns into hurricane season, the narrative becomes stormy and unpredictable. At this point, I could not put the book down. The story ends with a peaceful epilogue that serves to clear away lingering questions about the events of that summer and how they destroyed the Dodge family. Highly recommended.