I think the most telling thing I can say about Caroline Kepnes’ work is this: three months ago I hadn’t even heard of her...and as of today, I’ve read each of her three novels--one of them twice (You).
They are equally exceptional. I was about to write, “Each one is better than the last,” but that’s not true at all. They are all good. Really good.
But Providence may be my favorite. At its core, it’s a love story--not something I would consider to be right up my alley--but the backstories and the genre-bending inclusion of sci-fi, the supernatural, and even shocking horror elements make the love story almost, but not quite, secondary to the work as a whole.
There are deep senses of despair, redemption, and salvation that recur throughout the book and the roller coaster ride this gives the reader almost forces a page-turning, one-sitting read. Yeah, you can put it down if you just can’t keep your eyes open any longer at night, but you’re going to want to pick it right back up when you awaken the next morning because the story doesn’t leave you when you put the book down.
No normal person could possibly say, “Well, I’ve read a few chapters and I don’t care what happens next.” This book sucks you in and holds on to you until you finish it. And even after you finish it, after you blink your eyes a few times and say, “Whew...” even then, Jon and Chloe won’t leave your thoughts. They’ll hang with you for days.
Easily one of the best novels I’ve read this year...perhaps in 5 years. Maybe 10. Possibly more.