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Review: THE INCONCEIVABLE LIFE OF QUINN

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Title: THE INCONCEIVABLE LIFE OF QUINN
Author: Marianna Baer
Release date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 384
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Description…

Quinn Cutler is sixteen and the daughter of a high-profile Brooklyn politician. She’s also pregnant, a crisis made infinitely more shocking by the fact that she has no memory of ever having sex. Before Quinn can solve this deeply troubling mystery, her story becomes public. Rumors spread, jeopardizing her reputation, her relationship with a boyfriend she adores, and her father’s campaign for Congress. Religious fanatics gather at the Cutlers’ home, believing Quinn is a virgin, pregnant with the next messiah. Quinn’s desperate search for answers uncovers lies and family secrets—strange, possibly supernatural ones. Might she, in fact, be a virgin?

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The Review

Marianna Baer’s THE INCONCEIVABLE LIFE OF QUINN is a unique and unusual story of a girl who discovers she is pregnant, but has no recollection of how, when, or with whom it might have happened. Mainly told from her point of view, but with a number of brief chapters from several others in Quinn’s life, she attempts to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Her search for answers takes her down strange, disturbing, disquieting paths, but also those that are beautiful and magical and filled with wonder. All of which make for a different and haunting and thoroughly engaging read.

The daughter of a politician that turns up pregnant is enough to make headlines. But when it’s uncovered that she claims to be a virgin, the story explodes. Some believe she’s a liar. Some assume she’s covering up a traumatic event. And some believe she’s carrying the next messiah.

Having no memory of the conception, Quinn doesn’t know what to believe. Could she have forgotten a romantic night with her boyfriend Jesse? Could she have blocked out a violent attack from a stranger or someone she knows? Could she have been drugged? Could she be going crazy? Could there have been magical, mystical, or supernatural forces at work? Or could a higher power have bestowed her with a gift?

Her friends think she’s keeping secrets. Her family thinks she’s either lying, deluded, or unhinged. Her therapist wants Quinn to discover the truth by herself. The media loves having a juicy bit of gossip. The religious fanatics just want a piece of her.

And until she can solve the mystery, anything is possible.

Marianna Baer has created a story that has both elements of reality and of myth. She touches upon several real-life issues from unplanned teen pregnancy and the choices that follow, to dysfunctional families, to faith, religion, and zealotry, to mental health and wellness, to sexual assault, to the destructive influence of the media. And she balances this with the possibility of something elemental, spiritual, mythical, otherworldly.

THE INCONCEIVABLE LIFE OF QUINN gives you a lot to think about and invites you to come to your own conclusion. It is a curious, compelling, and rather marvelous tale of a girl whose life is most definitely inconceivable.

The Rating


About Marianna Baer

Marianna Baer received an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and a BA in art from Oberlin College. She also attended boarding school, where she lived in a tiny dorm called Frost House, the inspiration for her first novel, Frost. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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