“The Remedy” by Suzanne Young
Synopsis: In a world before The Program…
Quinlan McKee is a closer. Since the age of seven, Quinn has held the responsibility of providing closure to grieving families with a special skill—she can “become” anyone.
Recommended by grief counselors, Quinn is hired by families to take on the short-term role of a deceased loved one between the ages of fifteen and twenty. She’s not an exact copy, of course, but she wears their clothes and changes her hair, studies them through pictures and videos, and soon, Quinn can act like them, smell like them, and be them for all intents and purposes. But to do her job successfully, she can’t get attached.
Now seventeen, Quinn is deft at recreating herself, sometimes confusing her own past with those of the people she’s portrayed. When she’s given her longest assignment, playing the role of Catalina Barnes, Quinn begins to bond with the deceased girl’s boyfriend. But that’s only the beginning of the complications, especially when Quinn finds out the truth about Catalina’s death. And the epidemic it could start.
4 out of 5 stars
This is the best book in the Program series in my opinion. It’s a prequel to The Program and gives us a little background info as to why the Program was started.
The story revolves around Quinn, who works as a closer for her father. A closer is someone who is part grief counselor, and part actress. It’s her job to play the role of a recently deceased teenager to bring closure for the families. She dresses as them, imitates their voice and mannerisms, and almost becomes them so that family and friends can say all the things they wanted to say and never got the chance.
The premise behind this book is so disturbing to me. I understand the point of closure, but while reading this I often found myself thinking if I would want this particular type of closure. There have been people in my life that I’ve lost that I never got the opportunity to say how much they meant to me and I’ve had to make peace with that. Everyone has. Would I want someone who was a doppelgänger of that person to come back for a few days so that I could tell them? My answer is a resounding no.
Quinn struggles with this in the story and struggles with her own identity. With each job, she loses pieces of herself. She has memories that can’t possibly be hers, and wants desperately to have those memories be real. She begins to lose herself in Catalina’s life, wanting nothing more than to be Catalina and stop being a closer.
Catalina’s friends know that Quinn is just a closer, and imposter, and tell her how much she isn’t wanted, tell her she is a thing, not a person. The family lumps all their sorrow, hopes and dreams for Catalina on Quinn, and she is never loved for herself but only for who she represents.
The ending has a bit of a twist which was unexpected and well done. I’m not sure if we will see any more books in this series, but I did enjoy all of them!