By Laura Catherine Brown
(Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345437730, 352pp.)
Publication Date: January 29, 2002
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“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 Catherine Brown is a terrific new writer who shoots straight from the heart.”
Author of Slow Motion
All lives contain growth spurts–physical ones, most obviously, but emotional ones as well. Laura Catherine Brown’s powerful fiction debut focuses on just such a crucial time in the life of a determined young woman. For nineteen-year-old Mandy Boyle, moving away to college means a chance to sever ties with her impoverished blue-collar family and strike out on her own. But Mandy is soon transformed in ways she had never imagined. Her father’s sudden death sets in motion a wrenching chain of events that forces Mandy to grow up fast. The stage when a fetus first shows signs of life is known as the “quickening.” This is the story of Mandy’s adult quickening–an engrossing read about the search for identity, reckoning with the past, weathering unexpected twists of fate, and at last choosing a life of one’s own. . . .
Laura Catherine Brown has been awarded residency fellowships at the Ragdale Foundation, the Norcroft Writing Retreat, the Hambridge Center, and the Ucross Foundation. Quickening is her first novel. She lives in Manhattan.
"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