What We’re Reading in June!


We’re thrilled to share that our June Book Club selection is Lauren J. Sharkey’s debut novel Inconvenient Daughter, forthcoming from Kaylie Jones Books on June 23, but available to Rumpus Book Club members in just a few weeks!

Rowan Kelly knows she’s lucky. After all, if she hadn’t been adopted by Marie and Joseph, she could have spent her days in a rice paddy, or a windowless warehouse assembling iPhones—they make iPhones in Korea, right? Either way, slowly dying of boredom on Long Island is surely better than the alternative. According to Marie and Joseph, being adopted means Rowan is “special,” but when she’s sent to kindergarten at an all-white Catholic girls’ school, she realizes that “special” means “different,” and not in a good way. It occurs to her that she’ll never know if she has her mother’s eyes, or if she’d be in America at all, had her adoptive parents been able to conceive.

Rowan sets out to prove that she can be someone’s first choice—that she isn’t just a consolation prize. After running away from home—and her parents’ rules—and ending up beaten, barefoot, and topless on a Pennsylvania street courtesy of Bad Boy Number One, Rowan attaches herself to Never-Going-to-Commit. When that doesn’t work out, she fully abandons self-respect and begins browsing the Craigslist personals. But as Rowan dives deeper and deeper into the world of casual encounters with strangers, she discovers what she’s really looking for.

“Lauren J. Sharkey’s emotionally searing novel chronicles its heroine’s quest to forge her true self. Deeply felt and intensely written, Inconvenient Daughter speaks to the need we all have to find our place in the world, our place of belonging and acceptance. This is a powerful and stunning literary debut.” – Sue William Silverman, author of How to Survive Death and other Inconveniences

“In Sharkey’s stirring… debut, a transracial adoptee of Korean descent endures a crisis of identity… Sharkey achieves a moving account of Rowan’s difficult reckoning with her identity. This is an adept portrayal of the long shadow of abuse and the difficulty of being an adoptee.” – Publishers Weekly

Subscribe to the Rumpus Book Club by May 15 to join us in reading Inconvenient Daughter, culminating in an exclusive online discussion with author Lauren J. Sharkey about her first book!

Learn more about The Rumpus Book Club here. More from this author →