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This Side of Providence by Rachel M. Harper
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This Side of Providence (2016)

by Rachel M. Harper

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book as part of the Early Reviewers program. This is the story of Aracelia- mother of three and addict. This is not only her story but the story of her children and the non relatives that have come to care about them. After spending time in jail and trying to beat her addiction, Arcelia struggles to make her family whole again and stay clean. Told from many voices, this story is one that will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned. It is one of those heart wrenching stories- one told with so much emotion that the reader is drawn in and feels like they are living the story themselves which is such a credit to Harper- to take a storyline that thankfully I don't have any experience with and make it so real and heartfelt. ( )
  debristow | Jan 3, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This novel is dark and saddening, but a true piece of the daily lives of many members of our society. Those members being drug addicts, junkies, drug dealers, single mothers, homeless children, people who want to help but don't know how, wives, husbands, and anyone trying to survive from day to day. Thus saying all types of characters in this book, I absolutely loved it. I guess I like to read heavy drama and this certainly filled the bill from start to finish. Each chapter is narrated by a different character, telling the story from their perspective. In a nutshell, and without giving away the ending, this is the story of a single heroin addicted mother struggling to take care of her three children while struggling to stay clean. She wants to keep her family together and though she is high most of the time and a poor mother, the children love her dearly and think about how she was prior to her addiction. When the mother is busted and ends up in prison, thank goodness for the characters that stepped up to give the children some semblance of a normal life. I thought that the ending would be predictable, but it caught me off guard. When all signs point to a tidy conclusion and things don't end up that way, well.....that's the kind of novels I enjoy the most. An outstanding portrait of a family that live outside the margins of what many Americans would consider a normal life and which most of us can't even imagine. An eye-opener! ( )
  jeanie0510 | Aug 22, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I seemed to be different from the majority of readers in that I did not really enjoy this book. It was well written and I liked the way the readers' perspective kept changing, but the content was too intense for me. I think at another time and on another day, I might be more in the mood for a novel about drug abuse and prison but not at this time. ( )
  ashmolean1 | Jun 23, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Beautifully written, sad, funny, moving - this books has it all. Told from the perspective of various characters in the story, this book does a wonderful job demonstrating that not everyone is all bad or all good and each person in the story is really just trying to do the best they can with what they have. ( )
  bookaholicgirl | Jun 7, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Rachel Harper wrote this story in such a tragic voice I had to remind myself it wasn't a memoir. Told from each characters perspective you feel the breakdown of one family as a new family arises. Very engaging novel. ( )
  mootzymom | Jun 7, 2016 |
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"This tender novel tells a universal story of struggle, loss, and ultimately, survival. Arcelia Perez left Puerto Rico for the American dream, but within a few years she's living on the tough side of Providence, Rhode Island with three children, no job, and a powerful heroin addiction. Through rotating narration, we meet a diverse cast of characters-most notably Arcelia's charming, street-savvy son, Cristo, and his teacher, Miss Valentâin-whose futures are inextricably linked as they strive to succeed against the odds"--… (more)

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