Yerba Buena: A Novel - book cover
Literature & Fiction
  • Publisher : Flatiron Books
  • Published : 31 May 2022
  • Pages : 304
  • ISBN-10 : 1250810469
  • ISBN-13 : 9781250810465
  • Language : English

Yerba Buena: A Novel

"A love story for our time." ―Tara Conklin, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Romantics

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 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 and embarks on an affair with the married owner.

The morning Emilie and Sara first meet 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 trying to find somewhere, or someone, to call home.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Yerba Buena

A Most AnticipatedBook (Electric Lit, Bustle, LGBTQ Reads)

"A heartbreakingly beautiful story about two lost women who somehow find each other and in doing so find themselves."
―Electric Lit

"A tenderand at times heartbreaking love story between two women finding their way inlife…A delicately devastating and beautifully perceptive journey."
Bust Magazine


"Lyrical and ultimately hopeful. Yerba buena―the 'good herb,' which is also the name of the restaurant where Sara and Emilie meet―carries the reader through the pain and symbolizes a better future."
Booklist (starred review)

"LaCour writes with beauty and clarity about how a relationship is not a substitute for the characters' mutual need to love themselves."
Publishers Weekly

"The rawness of Sara's and Emilie's struggles come through, making for a heartfelt story.
A brisk, plot-driven, and entertaining novel."

"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 One Last Stop

"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

"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 joy to read."
―Charlotte McConaghy, New York Times bestselling 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 F...