• The Fiction Fox

Review: Yerba Buena - Nina LaCour


Genre: Literary Fiction, Adult Contemporary.

Published: Flatiron Books, May 31rd 2022

My Rating: 5/5 stars “In the silence that followed she realized how badly she wanted to have been told a story. She craved the arc of it, the beginning and middle and end. She craved a moral, a meaning, something she could mull over in the dark.” If you know me, or have been following my reviews for a while now, it’s going to come as no surprise that I’ve yet again fallen wholeheartedly and unapologetically in love with yet another Nina Lacour novel. I feel deeply honoured and slightly inadequate to be able to write one of the first reviews for one of my all-time-favourite authors newest release. Then again, there’s only one message that I truly want to get across to you, and here it is: Nina Lacour writes grief, coming of age and the bittersweet journey of finding your place in the world after hardship like nobody else. It’s simple, visceral, understated and an arrow straight into the softest part of my heart. I’ve shed plenty a tear over Watch Over Me and We Are Okay, all of them that magical cocktail of salt, sorrow and substantiation. My experience with Yerba Buena was no different, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. If you’ve drank the bittersweet tonic of Lacour before, then Yerba Buena will be a familiar comfort. If you’ve never experienced that feeling I’ve just described: this is your chance to have your first taste. Synopsis: 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, she’s built a tentative new balance for herself, working as a bartender in the glamorous restaurant Yerba Buena, and making a name for herself with her brilliantly layered cocktails. Here she crosses paths with Emily Dubois, who’s been in a holding pattern; in her seventh year and fifth major as an undergraduate, making some extra money creating floral arrangements for Yerba Buena. Above all, she yearns for the beauty and community her Creole grandparents cultivated but is unable to commit. The two embark on a tentative journey together, leading to a relationship that is as bittersweet and strong as the herb the restaurant is named after.

Many thanks to Flatiron Book and the author for providing me with an early copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. You guys have set a high barre for any book that hopes to be my favourite of 2022. Yerba Buena is scheduled for release on May 31st for US, EU and UK territory.

Find this book on Goodreads.