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Inconvenient Daughter


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

Forthcoming: 6/23/20

$15.95 $11.96 Not Currently Available – Check Back Soon!

What people are saying…

“Lauren J. Sharkey’s masterfully plotted portrait of Rowan, a smart and willful young woman in wild rebellion against the life she’s been handed, is so raw and honest, written with such passion and heart, you turn the pages rooting for her to love herself as much as the reader and her indomitable adopted mother do. Inconvenient Daughter delivers this and so much more.”
—Beverly Donofrio, author of Astonished: A Story of Healing and Finding Grace

“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 Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey through Sexual Addiction

“Steel, raw love, and rage forge the relationships between Rowan Kelly and her family. Inconvenient Daughter illuminates with cutting truth the layers of longing and grief which underlie a transracial adoption. Author Lauren J. Sharkey shines a light on how the truth of being loved and belonging can transcend the construct of biology. Sharkey provides heart-rending insight that never dips into false sentimentality, wrapped in a sharply written, intense, and page-turning novel. I simply loved this book.”
—Randy Susan Meyers, bestselling author of Waisted

“Rare is the book willing to confess how essential belonging is, to detail the myriad ways we both seek it and suffer from its absence. Readers will discover in Sharkey’s prose a truth few authors have the honesty to acknowledge or the courage to reveal.”
—Kevin Clouther, author of We Were Flying to Chicago


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 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 woke attitude, Inconvenient Daughter 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.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Published: 6/23/20
  • IBSN: 9781617757099
  • e-IBSN: 9781617758379


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’s 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 follow her at

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