Once you've registered, you'll receive your Zoom invitation!
Plunge Into a Coming-of-Age Sapphic Love Story
My driving question when writing [Yerba Buena] was something along the lines of, ‘How do we get to the point where we have dealt with our past traumas honestly enough to truly love another person well, and allow ourselves to be loved in return?’ —Nina LaCour
Sara Foster runs away from home at 16, leaving behind 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, yearning for the beauty and community her Creole grandparents cultivated but unable to commit. On a whim, she takes a job arranging flowers at the glamorous restaurant Yerba Buena.
The morning Emilie and Sara first meet at Yerba Buena, their connection is immediate. But soon 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. Will their love be more powerful than their pasts?
At once exquisite and expansive, astonishing in its humanity and heart, Yerba Buena is a testament to the healing qualities of a shared meal, a perfectly crafted drink, a space we claim for ourselves. Written with rich prose and beautifully unfolding layers of tension, Nina LaCour’s adult debut novel is a love story for our time.
Get to Know Nina LaCour
I appreciate joy in my books, but I love it most when it’s intermixed with hard things. I love books about hard-won fulfillment. —Nina LaCour
Nina LaCour is the Michael L. Printz, opens a new window award–winning and nationally bestselling author of young adult novels Watch Over Me, We Are Okay, Hold Still and Everything Leads to You. She recently wrote a picture book about a two-mom family, Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle.
Born and raised in the East Bay, LaCour got her undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University and her MFA in Creative Writing at Mills College in Oakland. She teaches with Hamline University’s MFAC program for Writing for Children and Young Adults.
A former indie bookseller and high school English teacher, LaCour lives with her wife and their daughter in San Francisco.
Praise for Yerba Buena
Yerba Buena is at turns decadent and spare, intimate and elusive, as balanced, fragrant and masterfully crafted as a fine cocktail in the hands of someone mysterious and beautiful. This book is a precious thing. —Casey McQuiston, New York Times bestselling author of Red, White, and Royal Blue and I Kissed Shara Wheeler
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
Nina LaCour’s writing is so evocative that it’s hard to put down (I read Yerba Buena in one day). The attention to detail allows you to be transported—you can just about taste the food, be in the rooms and even feel the feelings the characters are experiencing. —Julia Turshen, New York Times bestselling author of Simply Julia and more cookbooks
A study of complex, modern love. . . Yerba Buena is observed with a cool, generous eye in spare, quiet prose that expertly illuminates the trauma that Sara and Emilie are both wrestling with, as well as their hope and healing. . . Beautiful character-driven fiction that lingers like a perfectly mixed cocktail. —San Francisco Chronicle