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  • Yerba Buena

  • A Novel
  • By: Nina LaCour
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 8 hrs and 1 min
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (185 ratings)

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Yerba Buena  By  cover art

Yerba Buena

By: Nina LaCour
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
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Publisher's Summary

"Full of sensory details, vivid characters, and moment after moment of gorgeously rendered ordinary life, this audiobook is a queer must-listen."—AudioFile

This program is masterfully narrated by award-winning "Golden Voice" narrator Julia Whelan.

Yerba Buena is 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.

A Most Anticipated Book (Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, The Washington Post, Vulture, NBC News, Good Housekeeping, Parade, Electric Lit, BookRiot, Bustle, Goodreads, LGBTQ Reads, Autostraddle, Veranda Magazine, The Lesbian Review, and more)

“A love story for our time.”—Tara Conklin, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Romantics

"This book is a precious thing."—Casey McQuiston, New York Times bestselling author of One Last Stop

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.

A Macmillan Audio production from Flatiron Books.

©2022 Nina LaCour (P)2022 Macmillan Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Romance

Critic Reviews

"Julia Whelan's quiet, graceful narration is the perfect match for Nina LaCour's flowing prose in this stunning, layered story about two queer women who are slowly finding their way to each other--and themselves.... Whelan's light touch highlights its emotional complexity without drawing attention from LaCour's immersive prose. Full of sensory details, vivid characters, and moment after moment of gorgeously rendered ordinary life, this audiobook is a queer must-listen." (AudioFile)

Interview: Nina LaCour Savors the Rich Pairing of Beauty and Sadness

'We can distill the way that we see and experience the world into the story that we are giving other people.'
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  • Yerba Buena
  • 'We can distill the way that we see and experience the world into the story that we are giving other people.'

What listeners say about Yerba Buena

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Sweet story of love, loss and recovery.

Glad to see stories like this for young, nontraditional, struggling, hopeful readers. Has happy ending.

2 people found this helpful

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a real novel for real gay girls

beautiful moments, lush scenes. I loved it and you will too! Nina has done it again!

1 person found this helpful

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A sweet tragic but successful story!

This story checked all my boxes for emotional, highly visual and a wee bit funny story. The reader was magnificently into the moods of each chunk of marvelous description, leading the listener masterfully through the story. A fine experience!

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A slow burn

This book was great, with incredibly descriptive writing but a slow-moving plot. I enjoyed it overall.

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Meh

There were some good aspects to the story, but mostly it didn’t grab my attention. I think I kept listening simply because I enjoyed the narration. When it ended, I felt a little relieved.

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Exquisite!

A beautifully written story of the imperfect and often confusing way we search for meaning and love, How we struggle to make sense of our family relationships.The voice actor, Julia Whelan, is one of my favorite and always does a superb job. Highly recommend.

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Soooo Gooood

Nina LaCour is a tremendous writer. She is an architect of story. She uses detail, insight, metaphor. character depth and insight in a way that has again resulted in a masterpiece of a story. Thank you.

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Loved this book immediately- hated that it had to end.

The stories of these two women and the people in their lives had me captured since the first chapter. Following along as their stories unfolded was a privilege. All of our lives are complicated. We come into each other’s lives shaped by our experiences. This book is a beautiful representation of that reality. I loved this book and am so sorry that it had to end.

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A modern classic, and exquisite narration

Julia Whelan is simply the best narrator ever — and when the writing and story are incredible, too, it’s just audiobook magic.

This is a book about loss and longing and beauty. About searching for beauty; creating it, sharing it; healing through it; and discovering bright, painted layers of it in the homes we make, and the people we find to love.

I loved the structure of the story — vignettes of these two women’s lives across a decade; their meandering paths through trauma and self-discovery, making their way towards each other.

I loved the imagery of redwood forests, ferns, and spiky blossoms and branches in urns; of bold vintage wallpapers full of birds; of brass light fixtures, colorful cocktails and tablescapes…

I loved the descriptions of food and drink — layered hues and flavors I could see and taste through the words — and the interior spaces, textured and vivid.

This is a book that brims with humanity and color and heart; that nourishes the soul.

A modern classic. A new forever favorite.

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Too much HGTV, too many marshmallows

I was once dared to eat an entire bag of marshmallows. It was easy and tasty, at first. Squishy, sweet, no need to really make an effort to chew.

Eventually the process of eating the whole bag became too much of all the things that were easy at first. It was no longer tasty, just a lot of swallowing mushy blobs, trying to finally be rid of them.

That experience was kind of like reading this book.

Thank God they spent the money to hire Julia Whelan to read it. That was really the only thing that made me able to listen.

I could say a lot more about how blob-filled the book was but I’ll just add one more thing.

The author must watch too much HGTV to believe it is plausible for anyone, (particularly an inexperienced person working alone) to flip a huge house in less than a month. That’s so ridiculous it made me laugh.