Monday, March 16, 2020

Inconvenient Daughter by Lauren J. Sharkey


I’m delighted today to tell you about a new-to-me author and her upcoming contemporary fiction debut novel.


Author Lauren J. Sharkey’s debut novel Inconvenient Daughter (June 2020) explores questions surrounding identity and what it means to belong. As a transracial adoptee, Rowan attempts to accept and heal from the trauma of infant separation and overcome the challenges and complications that arise from not seeing herself reflected in the faces of those she loves most. 

          Rowan Kelly knows she’s lucky. After all, if she hadn’t been adopted, 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 her parents, 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 imagines herself the store-brand version you reluctantly place in your shopping cart when there’s no more Velveeta Shells & Cheese.
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.
With a fresh voice, quick wit, and a captivating character, Inconvenient Daughter explores the questions surrounding transracial adoption, the ties that bind, and what it means to belong.

“I realized what all victims of domestic violence know—eventually,
my abuser was going to kill me. But more than that, I realized I didn’t want to die.”

About the author:        

Author Lauren J. Sharkey
Lauren J. Sharkey is a writer, teacher, and transracial adoptee. After her birth in South Korea, she was adopted by Irish Catholic parents and raised on Long Island. Sharkey holds an MFA in Creative Writing & Literature, and her creative nonfiction has appeared in the Asian American Feminist Collective’s digital storytelling project, First Times, as well as several anthologies including I Am Strength! and Women under Scrutiny.

Inconvenient Daughter is her debut novel and loosely based on her experience as a Korean adoptee.

You can learn more about Inconvenient Daughter and Lauren on Goodreads and Lauren’sWebsite.

Thanks for stopping by today. I always enjoy sharing new book finds with you. What are your thoughts about self-identity being tied solely to the men (or women) in a person’s life? 

16 comments:

  1. Drat you. This is another I am going to HAVE to read.
    Sadly the question of identity being dependent on belonging is very, very real. A call I took on the crisis line is haunting me. The caller is separated from her partner. The police slapped a Domestic Violence Order on him when he kicked and punched her so badly she lost most of the sight in her right eye. And she wants him back - 'I am NOTHING without him'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elephant’s Child, I can see why the call is haunting you. So sad she feels that way. If only she could understand she is so much more without him.

      Delete
    2. Elephant's Child, I am a domestic violence survivor, and know all too well the dependency that can result from an abuser's grooming. People don't recognize how difficult it is to leave, and the courage and support it takes. I'll keep this woman in my thoughts.

      Delete
    3. Thank you. She needs a lot of support as so many (mostly women) do. If only it was a simple as just walking out the door.

      Delete
  2. Hello, I loved this post, I have been most interesting. I really like to read, I write it down for future readings.
    I loved your post, I did not know your blog, do you want us to follow each other? you tell me Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad INCONVENIENT DAUGHTER will be going on your TBR list!

      Delete
  3. Sort of a nature vs nurture question, isn't it? I think the people around us (family, more) have *so* much influence on us when we're kids.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is a really interesting premise for a story, Mason. And it sounds as though it touches on a lot of important themes. I'm interested, too, in the look it gives at adoption and how it impacts everyone. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Margot. The book is loosely based on my experience as a transracial adoptee. I'm hoping it can help start more conversations around this topic.

      Delete
  5. Oh my heart! That generic version comment hits hard! My BFF growing up was adopted and it is indeed a complex issue

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Adoption is definitely a complex issue. I'm hoping this book will spark some important conversations!

      Delete
  6. Sounds like a very important and interesting read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Lady Fi! I hope you pick it up :D

      Delete

I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.