Laura Catherine Brown Quickening

ISBN 13: 9781587880452

Quickening

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9781587880452: Quickening

"Quickening" is the stage in pregnancy when a fetus shows signs of having a life of its own - a stage in the development that this first-time novelist likens to the equally dramatic step of a child moving away from home. Nineteen-year-old Mandy Boyle is leaving for college - full of ambition and anticipation, more than ready to sever ties with her blue-collar family and their backwater town. But then the sudden death of her father shatters her exciting new world and shows her that her connection with home is stronger than she thought. The first-person narrative of Quickening becomes compelling as Mandy, caught between her old and new lives, struggles to find a way through her increasingly turbulent world, where she's buffeted by problems she's too young and inexperienced to handle. During the six-month course of this novel, we observe the transformation - the quickening - of this young woman: No longer simply reacting to the people and circumstances around her, Mandy begins to choose, for the first time, a life for herself.

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From the Back Cover:

"In Quickening , get ready to meet a quirky and poignant heroine who will grab you from the first page and won't let you go. Love, grief, loss, confusion, the search for identity--it's all here, and it all feels fresh and new. Laura Brown is a terrific new writer who shoots straight from the heart."        
                                        


---Dani Shapiro, author of Slow Motion
"The heroine of this remarkable novel may have to wait for her quickening, but for the reader, happily, it begins on the opening page. Laura Catherine Brown writes with remarkable authenticity about the struggles and setbacks of crossing into adult life. This is a terrific debut."        
        


---Margot Livesey, author of The Missing World and Criminals
"Laura Brown eschews the trendy, the glitzy, and the experimental and goes straight for the heart with her tender portrayal of an impoverished

upstate New York teenager fumbling over the first steps of adulthood. She has a gift for writing scenes that are sharp, poignant, and suspenseful. And she excels in creating characters who are weak and even cruel and yet achingly sweet. Mandy Boyle's determination, her unwillingness to abandon hope, and her generosity of spirit make Quickening a grace-ful and uplifting read."

---Douglas Glover, author of Dog Attempts to Drown Man in Saskatoon

From the Inside Flap:

Our lives all contain growth spurts--physical ones, most obviously, but intellectual and emotional ones as well. This acutely powerful debut novel focuses on just such a time in the life of a nineteen-year-old girl. Mandy Boyle is leaving home for the first time to begin college, full of ambition and anticipation, more than ready to sever ties with her blue-collar family and their backwater town in upstate New York. Over the next six months, Mandy's life is transformed, but hardly in the way she'd anticipated. Her father's sudden death acts as a disruptive catalyst on her own life, and overnight, it seems, her childhood ends. Mandy drops out of college, moves to New York City with a man she hardly knows, goes to work, and gets herself caught in an agonizing situation that she didn't choose but is entrapped by nonetheless.

The stage in a pregnancy when a fetus first shows signs of having a life of its own is known as the "quickening"--a milestone of development as important and dramatic as when a young person leaves home for the first time. The story of Mandy's quickening--her emotionally wrenching growth spurt--is an affecting, engrossing read, about real people making real choices, reacting to the unexpected turns a life can take. Brown's writing evokes comparisons to that of pragmatic, perceptive novelists like Wally Lamb, Elizabeth Berg, and Mona Simpson as she describes a young woman's growing, acting, and choosing, for the first time, a life for herself.

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Laura Catherine Brown
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