Yerba Buena

Macmillan Audio. May 2022. 8:01 hrs. ISBN 9781250837837. $19.99. F
YA author and Printz Award winner LaCour (We Are Okay) makes her adult debut with this tender novel about two women finding their way to each other through family trauma, self-doubt, and more. Sara Foster has been on her own since she arrived in LA as a 16-year-old runaway. Emilie DuBois is drifting, a perpetual undergraduate whose life has been unmoored by her sister’s drug addiction. Emilie and Sara first meet at Yerba Buena, a trendy restaurant where Emilie does the flowers and Sara creates cocktails. The novel follows them as their lives weave together and come apart over several years and both women grapple with their families, their pasts, and the lives they want to build. Narrator Julia Whelan is also an award winner (including the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Golden Voice Award). Her emotional delivery perfectly complements LaCour’s intimate novel. She subtly distinguishes between the two main characters, giving Sara a slightly brusquer edge to counter Emilie’s wistful melancholy.
VERDICT Anticipation for the novel and Whelan’s prowess as a narrator makes this a first purchase.
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