Quinlan has an uncanny ability to become someone else, especially if that person is dead.
Working for an elite government program, Quinlan is a “closer.” She enters the lives of the bereaved and temporarily plays the role of the deceased in order to bring closure to the grief-stricken. Having had this job since she was a child, 17-year-old Quinlan is starting to feel hairline fissures in her psyche, finding it increasingly difficult to recall her own personality. Quinlan is driven both by compassion to help the despairing and pressure from her father, who is the head of the grief department. Her latest assignment requires deeper immersion than ever before, and her father is secretive about the details. She becomes Catalina, a beloved daughter who died of mysterious causes. Catalina’s boyfriend, Isaac, is included in the assignment, and Quinlan, her own loneliness heightened by his need, finds herself drawn to Isaac’s desperation and passion. As the melancholy and eerie story unfolds, Quinlan realizes that no one is telling her the truth, and her life has never been her own. Exploring the topic of memory manipulation as a cure for distress, this stand-alone prequel offers shadowy references to Young’s previous novels, The Program (2013) and The Treatment (2014).
A visceral exploration of the eternal and misguided search for pain-free happiness in an almost-now Brave New World. (Dystopian romance. 14-18)