Christine Quinn’s improbable journey began long before she became New York City’s second-most-powerful elected official. The granddaughter of Irish immigrants—including a grandmother who escaped the sinking Titanic when most teenage girls in steerage perished—Christine learned early in life that challenges are meant to be met and overcome and that they are ever present but surmountable.
Christine’s seemingly idyllic childhood— a time that was filled with every imaginable lesson from ballet and painting to swimming and horseback riding—wasn’t at all what it appeared to be. A cancer diagnosis left Christine’s mother fighting for her life and harboring a single wish: to see her beloved little girl through grade school. She lived more years than she’d dared hope for, but her decade-long battle with breast cancer, kept largely secret, cast a deep shadow over young Christine’s life.
At sixteen, left without a mother, Christine began carving her own path. Inspired by her parents’ example of service—and drawing on favorite childhood books about pioneers like Marie Curie and Frederick Douglass— Christine set her sights on work that would help make a difference in the world. Yet she bore secrets of her own that she would ultimately have to face, coming of age in a world where both women and gay people had no choice but to fight for their dreams. Over time she met those obstacles, both personal and professional, with more fortitude than patience.
In a strikingly intimate and forthright memoir, Christine Quinn demonstrates that lifes challenges can provide the fuel that drives us to be our better selves and, in turn, inspires us to reach out to those who need a helping hand.
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