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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
For most young women, watching their mother faint as they leave home for college would make for a dramatic exit. Unfortunately, for Mandy Boyle, this kind of drama is an all-too-common occurrence. Desperate to escape her small hometown in upstate New York and her narcissistic mother, Mandy yearns to find a place where she can carve out her own identity and forge her own path to a hopeful future.
Arriving at college, Mandy loses herself in the more sophisticated lifestyle of her roommate Barb-smoking pot, hitting the college bar scene, and losing her virginity-all in short order. But when Mandy's father is felled by a heart attack just a few days before Christmas, her newly created world is threatened by the demands of her mother.
Against her mother's wishes, Mandy returns to school and promptly sinks into a paralyzing depression, eschewing class for the pleasures of sleep, and rousing herself only to head to a bar and another one night stand. But when an equally lost and lonely young man named Booner declares his love and need for her, Mandy leaves college, and without considering her options, sets up house with him in Astoria, Queens.
Quickening is the stage in a fetus's life when it begins moving of its own accord-and the mother of the child can feel it. And Quickening is an especially apt title for this riveting first novel of a young woman's sputtering attempts to figure out who she is apart from her suffocating, painful childhood. But like childbirth itself, after agonizing pain, Mandy Boyle rises triumphant, ready to claim a world and a life of which she can be proud.