You Can't Stay Here Forever: A Novel (Hardcover)
Named a must-read book of summer by: Good Morning America, People, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, and the Philadelphia Inquirer and one of the best books of the year by the New York Post
Desperate to obliterate her past, a young widow flees California for the French Riviera in this compelling debut, a tale of loss, rebirth, modern friendship, and romance that blends Sally Rooney’s wryness and psychological insight with Emma Straub's gorgeous scene-setting and rich relationships.
Just days after her young, handsome husband dies in a car accident, Ellie Huang discovers that he had a mistress—one of her own colleagues at a prestigious San Francisco law firm. Acting on impulse—or is it grief? rage? Probably all three—Ellie cashes in Ian’s life insurance policy for an extended stay at the luxurious Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France. Accompanying her is her free-spirited best friend, Mable Chou.
Ellie hopes that the five-star resort on the French Riviera, with its stunning clientele and floral-scented cocktails, will be a heady escape from the real world. And at first it is. She and Mable meet an intriguing couple, Fauna and Robbie, and as their poolside chats roll into wine-soaked dinners, the four become increasingly intimate. But the sunlit getaway soon turns into a reckoning for Ellie, as long-simmering tensions and uncomfortable truths swirl to the surface.
Taking the reader from San Francisco to the gilded luxury of the south of France, You Can’t Stay Here Forever is a sharply funny and exciting debut that explores the slippery nature of marriage, the push and pull between friends, and the interplay of race and privilege, seen through the eyes of a young Asian American woman.
Katherine Lin is an attorney and writer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and Stanford Law School.
“Feel like taking a trip to Hotel du Cap in the south of France? Just open up Katherine Lin's new novel about female friendship, identity, ambition and love….[a] beautiful, atmospheric read.” — Good Morning America
"Don't miss this trip." — People, "Our Must-Reads for Summer"
"The Shady Husband Mystery is its own literary subgenre....Katherine Lin enters the canon with her debut novel....a subtle, character-driven story about interracial marriage...[and] opposites-attract friendship....Through memories, Lin skillfully reveals Ellie and Ian’s marriage of contrasts....Lin is deft and never overbearing in her handling of race." — New York Times Book Review
"A transportive debut." — Boston Globe
"An entertaining escape." — San Francisco Chronicle
“Lin’s sharp writing and perspectives on the Asian American experience in modern times, the shifting tides of marriages and the complexity of friendships that signals a captivating new voice on the literary scene.” — East Bay Express
“Lin’s debut is a heartwarming novel about self-discovery after loss, as she explores grief, deep disappointment, female relationships, and the Asian American perspective of living in a dominantly wealthy and privileged white society.”
"A riveting debut with rich characterization, scenic setting, and sharp insights on relationships, class, and one Asian American woman’s experience."
— Library Journal
"Lin's treatment of the glamorous, decadent setting, with its stream of gourmet meals and artisanal cocktails, is far from escapist . . . .vshe has complicated things to say about privilege and its intersection with race, ambition, and identity. A probing, astute portrayal of a fraught and late-blooming coming-of-age." — Kirkus Reviews
"Katherine Lin's You Can't Stay Here Forever is compulsively readable, so much so that it's easy to overlook the astute intelligence that permeates every page. Reading this novel is like falling in love: delightful, poignant, and thrilling." — Jean Kwok, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Translation and Searching for Sylvie Lee
“This glistening debut is filled with all the wanderlust, rage, and longing of early adulthood, and proves—in sinuous and Bacchic prose—that the dissolution of a friendship is a terrifying prospect.” — Courtney Maum, author of The Year of the Horses
“I was totally drawn in from the first page of You Can’t Stay Here Forever. All the contradictions of Ellie’s situation as the American child of East Asian immigrants are explored with empathy and nuance, and the book’s brilliantly observed, horribly recognizable moments are handled with the lightest of touches.” — Emily Itami, author of Fault Lines
"You Can't Stay Here Forever is a keen and expansive rumination on love, betrayal, and class set between the Bay Area and the South of France. A wry and exciting debut that while set in rarified luxury, portrays universal struggles of friendship, work and marriage." — Kathy Wang, author of Family Trust and Impostor Syndrome