Providence By Caroline Kepnes: Book Review & Summary

Providence | Book By Caroline Kepnes | Official Publisher Page | Simon

Providence | Book by Caroline Kepnes | Official Publisher Page | Simon

Exploring the dark side of obsession – A review of Providence by Caroline Kepnes

Providence is a psychological thriller written by Caroline Kepnes, the author of the hit novel, You. In this book, Kepnes takes us on a journey through the aftermath of a traumatic event that destroys the life of a young boy named Jon.

Jon, a teenage boy from New Hampshire, wakes up one day to find that he has been kidnapped and experimented on by a mad scientist. The experiment goes horribly wrong, and Jon is left with a terrible power that causes anything he touches to rot and decay. Fearing for his life, Jon runs away from home and becomes a recluse, living in the shadows and avoiding human contact.

Years later, Jon returns to his hometown, and the people around him begin to fall under the spell of his dark power. What follows is a tense, twisted thriller that explores the dark side of obsession and the lengths people will go to protect the ones they love.

Main Themes and Ideas in Providence

Providence is a story that delves deep into the themes of love, loss, and obsession. Kepnes brings to life the dark and twisted world of Jon and his power, showing us how it affects everyone around him. She explores the idea of family and how far people will go to protect their loved ones.

Another theme that runs throughout the book is isolation and the effects it can have on a person. Jon is a recluse, living in a world where he is unable to touch anything without causing it to rot and decay. This leaves him feeling alone and isolated, with no one to turn to for help.

Kepnes also touches on the concept of power and control, and how the desire for control can corrupt even the best of intentions. Through Jon’s power, we see how it can be both a blessing and a curse, and how it can be used to manipulate and control those around us.

Critical Evaluation of the Writing Style

Kepnes’ writing style is fast-paced and gripping, drawing readers into the story from the very first page. She creates a dark and twisted world that is both intriguing and unsettling, keeping readers on the edge of their seats throughout the book.

She masterfully weaves together multiple storylines, creating a complex plot that keeps readers guessing until the very end. Kepnes’ ability to create complex and flawed characters is also impressive, with each character feeling like a real person with their own unique motivations and flaws.

Overall, Kepnes’ writing style is highly effective, drawing readers into the story and keeping them engaged until the very end.

Strengths and Weaknesses

One of the main strengths of Providence is Kepnes’ ability to create a dark and unsettling atmosphere that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. Her writing is highly descriptive, painting a vivid picture of the world around her characters.

Another strength is her ability to create complex and flawed characters that feel like real people. Each character is fully fleshed out with their own motivations and desires, making them both intriguing and relatable.

One weakness of the book is the pacing. At times, the story can drag on, making it feel longer than it needs to be. Additionally, some readers may find the dark and unsettling subject matter too much to handle.

Comparing Providence to Other Works in its Genre

Providence is a unique addition to the psychological thriller genre, with its dark and twisted subject matter setting it apart from other books in its genre. However, it shares some similarities with other popular books in the genre, such as Stephen King’s Misery and Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl.

Like Misery, Providence explores the dark and twisted mind of a recluse who is forced to confront their own darkness. And like Gone Girl, it delves deep into the idea of obsession and control. However, while both of these books have elements of horror, Providence is more of a psychological thriller, focusing more on character development and less on gore and violence.


Overall, Providence is a highly engaging and darkly twisted psychological thriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Kepnes’ writing style is highly effective, creating a vivid and unsettling atmosphere that draws readers into the story from the very beginning.

While the pacing can be slow at times, the complex and flawed characters more than make up for it. And while the subject matter may be too dark for some readers, those who enjoy psychological thrillers and dark fiction will find themselves thoroughly engrossed in this book.


Q: Is Providence appropriate for all ages?

A: No, Providence contains mature themes and subject matter that may not be appropriate for all ages.

Q: How does Providence compare to Kepnes’ previous book, You?

A: While both books share similar themes of obsession and control, Providence has a darker and more unsettling tone than You.

Q: Is Providence a standalone novel, or part of a series?

A: Providence is a standalone novel.

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