‘Inconvenient Daughter’ by Lauren J. Sharkey/Book Review

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Inconvenient Daughter by Lauren J. Sharkey
Publisher: Akashic Books/Kaylie Jones Books
Length: 232 pages
Genre: Fiction
Acquired through NetGalley
Release Date: June 23, 2020
(CW: domestic violence, sexual assault)


A vibrant and provocative debut novel that dispels myths surrounding transracial adoption.

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. But as she matures, she realizes 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. 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 Craigslist personals. But as Rowan dives deeper into the world of casual encounters with strangers, she discovers what she’s really looking for.

With a fresh voice and a quick wit, Lauren J. Sharkey dispels the myths surrounding transracial adoption, the ties that bind, and what it means to belong.

A debut novel on our Kaylie Jones Books imprint.

My Thoughts

Thank you to NetGalley and Kaylie Jones Books for providing me a copy of Inconvenient Daughter, for exchange of an honest review!

Inconvenient Daughter tells the story of Rowan Kelly, a girl struggling with her identity as a transracial adoptee (Rowan is Korean, adopted by an American family) living in Long Island. The story takes you through Rowan’s life, while simultaneously following her account at a hospital after a traumatic encounter.

The story describes Rowan’s struggle trying in vain to establish a maternal bond with her adoptive mother, yet the demons of feeling like an outsider follows her every moment of her life. Rowan’s foray into relationships is a string of harrowing life lessons, causing her to believe that her life will forever be one of abandonment. The need to reach out to a loving, maternal figure is a constant theme in Inconvenient Daughter. The absence of a biological mother paints a picture of detachment in every encounter she has. The friction between Rowan and her adoptive mother is also constant.

Lauren J. Sharkey does not hold back in documenting Rowan’s emotional experiences in her young adult years. There are some parts that are uncomfortable to read, as Rowan experiences severe hardships once she’s in the outside world. Through all of the challenges she receives in life, Rowan manages to move forward and rebuild her purpose in life. Rowan’s journey in discovering and valuing herself is an immense, uphill battle.

I really enjoyed Inconvenient Daughter, as it’s a powerful account of a young woman’s search for identity and family bonds!

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Do you think you will add Inconvienent Daughter to your TBR? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. Thank you so much for reading Inconvenient Daughter, and for your kind and generous review. I’m glad you enjoyed following Rowan’s journey. ❤

    1. You’re welcome! It’s a great book!

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