The debut adult novel by the bestselling and award-winning YA author Nina LaCour, following two women on a star-crossed journey toward each other
When Sara Foster runs away from home at sixteen, she leaves behind not only the losses that have shattered her world but the girl she once was, capable of trust and intimacy. Years later, in Los Angeles, she is a sought-after bartender, renowned as much for her brilliant cocktails as for the mystery that clings to her. Across the city, Emilie Dubois is in a holding pattern. In her seventh year and fifth major as an undergraduate, she yearns for the beauty and community her Creole grandparents cultivated but is unable to commit. On a whim, she takes a job arranging flowers at the glamorous restaurant Yerba Buena and embarks on an affair with the married owner.
When Sara catches sight of Emilie one morning at Yerba Buena, their connection is immediate. But the damage both women carry, and the choices they have made, pulls them apart again and again. When Sara's old life catches up to her, upending everything she thought she wanted just as Emilie has finally gained her own sense of purpose, they must decide if their love is more powerful than their pasts.
At once exquisite and expansive, astonishing in its humanity and heart, Yerba Buena is a love story for our time and a propulsive journey through the lives of two women finding their way in the world.
About the Author
NINA LACOUR is the Michael L. Printz award-winning and nationally bestselling author of Watch Over Me, We Are Okay, Hold Still, and Everything Leads to You. She hosts the podcast Keeping a Notebook and teaches for Hamline University's MFA in writing for Children and Young Adults program. A former indie bookseller and high school English teacher, she lives with her family in San Francisco.
Praise for Yerba Buena
“Nina LaCour’s Yerba Buena is a love story for our time. I so admired its truth and candor, the lilting prose and the two compelling protagonists, Sara and Emilie, whose lives weave, break and bend towards each other until the novel’s moving and deeply satisfying conclusion. Yerba Buena is an absolute joy to read.”
—Tara Conklin, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Romantics
“Tactile, tender and intimate, Yerba Buena is a gorgeous, sensory exploration of life’s richest moments. Led by two soulful and complex women, it is a breath of sweetness and a joy to read.”
—Charlotte McConaghy, author of Once There Were Wolves and Migrations
"Yerba Buena tells two lovely, tangled, gorgeously-detailed coming-of-age stories. It is a novel full of heartbreak and hope, food and flowers, complication and compromise, love and loss and lessons learned the hard way. But especially love."
—Laurie Frankel, author of One Two Three and This Is How It Always Is
“Yerba Buena is not just a book to read; it’s a story to revel in, so full is it of sensual pleasures—food and flowers, cocktails and home decor—all of it enveloping a sexy, magnetic and unputdownable love story of two young women fighting their way past family demons and toward each other. This is Nina LaCour’s best work yet.”
—Gayle Forman, author of If I Stay and We Are Inevitable