Sabrina’s Book Corner: Identity Confusion

Hello, and welcome back to Sabrina’s Book Corner! This week we are going to be discussing The Remedy by Suzanne Young.

The Remedy tells the story of Quinlan McKee. Quinlan is a closer, which means she works closely with grief therapists to help families struggling with the death of a loved one. Closers have the responsibility of easing families’ grief by briefly “becoming” their deceased loved one.

Closers are not perfect copies of the deceased loved on, but they wear the deceased’s clothes, change their hair accordingly, and study the deceased person’s personality so they can “become” them and give the families the chance to say goodbye.

Quinlan has been a closer since she was seven years old. Now, at seventeen, she is having difficuly distinguishing between her memories and the memories of those she has portrayed.

Closers follow a very specific set of rules:

  1. Never get attached to the clients
  2. Never take back-to-back assignments; recovery time is needed
  3. Never engage in long-term assignments

When Quinlan returns home from an assignment, she assumes that she will have some time to decompress and remember herself before her next job. Instead, she is thrown into another straight away without any time to decompress from the previous endeavor.

Quinlan begins wondering what is so important about Catalina Barnes’ death that the grief counselors were willing to break their own rules. As Quinlan starts to unravel Catalina’s life, she finds that her new assignment is not adding up. There is no record of how Catalina died, and no one is willing to talk about it. Also, the assignment is long-term, breaking another one of the rules.  Now Quinlan is trying to understand what happened to Catalina without losing her own identity.

What happened to Catalina Barnes? What about her death is so terrifying to the grief therapists that they are willing to risk breaking their own rules? Find out in The Remedy.

— Sabrina Parr, Poetry Editor

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