A starred review from Publishers Weekly!

I’ll Stay

Karen Day. Kensington, $15.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4967-1159-5

Children’s author (A Million Miles from Boston) Day’s excellent first foray into adult fiction chronicles three periods in the life of Clare Michaels, the aimless daughter of a famous writer. The first is her intense, college-years friendship with her best friend, Lee Sumner, which is irrevocably altered during a Daytona Beach trip when they are cornered by three men. Lee agrees she’ll willingly stay if they let Clare go. Lee is later saved, but she won’t discuss what happened to her, and as the years go by, Clare is haunted by the event. The second period covers the post-college years as Clare finishes her master’s degree and Lee, once confident, falls aimlessly in and out of jobs. The third period involves Clare’s mother, Eleanor, a self-involved writer. When confronted by a fan who claims that Eleanor stole her short story and turned it into Eleanor’s most famous book, Clare, who has mixed feelings about her mother, begins to wonder whether this is the reason why her mother remains mum about her novel’s origins. The novel is an intricate study of loyalty and guilt, providing full character arcs for both Clare and Lee, and it’s a page-turner from beginning to end. (Feb.)


Thoughtful and spot-on review from Library Journal


Day, known for her insightful middle-grade novels, makes her adult debut with a laser-focused first-person tale of friendship, mothers and daughters, and the devastation secrets bring. In 1983, Clare and her best friend, Lee, are on spring break when faced with a decision that sets them on a path of heartbreak. Although everyone sees Clare as the reliable caretaker, it is Lee who sacrifices herself to save Clare. Haunted by guilt, Clare drifts through the next eight years struggling with her directionless life, avoiding both Lee and any sort of true emotional attachment. Seen through her possibly unreliable narrator lens, none of the characters is particularly likable, especially Clare's distant mother, Eleanor. Well known and praised for her award-winning book about the Vietnam War, Eleanor looms hugely in the background as the rock at which Clare continues to throw herself, taking up more than her fair share of Clare's life. VERDICT Clare's inability to understand her own motivations make this layered look at imperfect characters a book club-ready page-turner, as readers will have plenty to discuss, whether they use the included questions or come up with their own.—Charli Osborne, Oak Park P. L., MI

Library Journal


Book launch, Thursday, February 8, 7pm.

I'm happy to announce that I will be launching I'LL STAY at Newtonville Books, Newton, MA., on Thursday, February 8 at 7pm. All are welcome!

Newtonville Books holds a special place in my heart. It was where I launched my middle grade novels. And it's my hometown bookstore. Thanks to Mary and Jaime for providing such a warm, wonderful place to introduce my novel to the world! 


Invite me to your book group!

One of my favorite things to do is visit local book groups after they've read my novel and are ready to discuss it. I did this quite a bit with mother-daughter book groups. The conversation is often rich and lively, the questions are pertinent. How often have you read a book and wished you could ask the author a question? Why did you have your character do that? Why did you tell the story from that point of view and not another?

If you live in the greater Boston area, and you have a book group that is willing to read my novel, invite me to your group when you're ready to discuss it. I will lead a discussion of the novel, answer questions, provide background information on how the novel came to be and hopefully introduce ideas/themes that you may not have considered. It's great fun!

I'm quickly booking groups. If you're interested or have questions, feel free to contact me!



Publishers Marketplace Buzz Books 2017 Fall/Winter

So proud that my debut adult novel, I'LL STAY, has been named to Publishers Marketplace Buzz Books for this coming Fall and Winter. Twice a year, Buzz Books lists the forty or so books that editors at Publishers Marketplace think will make a big splash at publication. This year's fall and winter list includes such well-known writers as Louise Erdrich, Amy Tan and Celeste Ng. 

I couldn't be more honored!. Here's the link. You may download a free chapter, too.