If you're a fan of Open Road Summer and When We Collided, I've got an exciting reveal for you. You can check out the cover for Emery Lord's new book, The Names They Gave Us, right here on Bustle! The YA novel doesn't roll into a bookstore near you until next spring, but I've got all the details that are sure to pique your interest and leave you wanting more.
Emery Lord's new book centers on Lucy: a young Bible camp counselor with a pretty much perfect life. She has a wonderful boyfriend, a loving family, and a great summer job. But when her mother's cancer rebounds, her boyfriend wants a break, and her employer sends her to work at a camp for "troubled" kids, Lucy finds herself questioning everything she believes about God and the nature of life. And just as she manages to find some comfort in her new normal, family secrets emerge that threaten all Lucy knows to be true.
Here's what Lord has to say about The Names They Gave Us:
I wrote this book because I think a lot about nomenclature — the names we assign to things and people, and the names we take on as we go. That immediately led to daughterhood for me, as parents are often the people who assign given names and earliest nicknames. I've always wanted to write a camp setting and try to capture what it feels like to fall in love with your first work family. And, frankly, the idea of writing a religious protagonist who is confronting her doubt head-on felt intimidating and complicated and personal, and that is my favorite kind of writing. Together, that made for a girl named Lucy Esther Hansson who is facing her mom's cancer and falling in love beneath the trees and finding grace in people she didn't expect.
The Names They Gave Us isn't the first time Lord has tackled a difficult and controversial subject. One of the protagonists of her most recent novel, When We Collided, has bipolar disorder. The mis-characterization of people with mental illness — and the attention that that ignorance gave to her book — bothered Lord, who writes:
I’m just enormously tired of people with mental illness being portrayed as zany side characters, villains, tragedies. We’re protagonists — good ones. We love hugely, fight back fiercely, feel deeply. We have complex, dynamic, individual lives. ... This is the story of so, so many people I love, and I am going to tell that story — the story that a mental health diagnosis is not a destination you are stuck in but a journey with agency, with companions — starting now.
Pick up Emery Lord's new book, The Names They Gave Us, from your favorite bookstore on May 16, 2017.
Images: Courtesy of Bloomsbury