The Inconceivable Life of Quinn

Marianna Baer. Amulet, $18.95 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4197-2302-5
Quinn Cutler, the 16-year-old daughter of a writer running for U.S. Congress, is shocked to learn that she’s pregnant: she’s never had sex, at least not as far as she can remember. As word gets out that she’s both pregnant and claiming to be a virgin, devout believers pilgrimage to the family’s Brooklyn home, hoping to see Quinn and even be healed. In a suspenseful and thought-provoking novel, Baer (Frost) tackles the illusiveness of memory (especially in regard to trauma), media firestorms, fear of the unknown, and the complexities of faith, without ever turning didactic or allowing Quinn’s story to fall into melodrama. Amid the growing chaos of her life, Quinn becomes a capable and courageous sleuth in the search for answers; writing in third person, Baer makes readers intimately aware of Quinn’s confusion and conflicted feelings about her pregnancy, as well as the reactions of people close to (and not so close to) her that escalate matters dangerously. It’s a delicate, complicated, and engrossing exploration of the collision between real life and the inexplicable. Ages 13–up. Agent: Sara Crowe, Pippin Properties. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/06/2017
Release date: 04/04/2017
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