When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self.
This inventive story, told in verse and in prose, paints the aftermath of tragedy as a landscape where there is good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.
About Jenny Hubbard
Michael L. Printz Honor Award-winning And We Stay is Jenny Hubbard’s second novel. Her first, Paper Covers Rock, was a William C. Morris Debut Award Finalist. A former English teacher, Jenny writes books and plays in her hometown of Slisbury, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, a high school math teacher, and their rescue dog, Oliver. You can find Jenny on Facebook, follow her (and Oliver) on Twitter at @HubbardWrites, and visit her website at jennyhubbard.com.
From the Hardcover edition.
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2013:
"Teasing out strands of the past and the present, Hubbard masterfully twines together a story of one girl’s journey to self-identity...As graceful as a feather drifting down, this lyrical story delivers a deep journey of healing on a tragic theme."
Starred Review, Booklist, November 15, 2013:
"This novel is accomplished, polished, and mixes prose and and poetry to stunning effect...Hubbard’s narrative tone will only make readers want to lean in closer."
Starred Review, School Library Journal, January 2014:
"A little gem of a book...Despite the heavy topics, the book feels sweet and poetic and never gratuitous. Budding poets may particularly appreciate Emily’s story, but there is certainly something for anyone looking for a good read with a strong, believable female lead who is working her hardest to overcome tragedy."
Publishers Weekly, October 21, 2013:
"Hubbard’s writing is elegant and emotional...Mature readers who enjoy a bit of melancholy and might spark to Dickinson will be in good company on Emily’s journey."
BookPage, February 2014:
"Hubbard is an accomplished poet as well as a novelist, and Emily Beam’s poems are remarkably good. Writing these poems leads Emily out of the darkness of a New England winter and into a fragile spring—out of tragedy and into something resembling hope."
Shelf Awareness, February 21, 2014:
"Most poetry comes from a place of deep emotion. That's certainly true for Emily Beam, Jennifer Hubbard's (Paper Covers Rock) sympathetic protagonist in And We Stay... Hubbard convincingly integrates Emily Beam's poems alongside her recollections of Paul and her life before boarding school."
VOYA, December 2013:
"[Hubbard] captures perfectly the turbulence of young love, the bonds of friendship, and the push-and-pull dynamic between teens and adults...Definitely recommend this book to your introspective patrons who relish romantic tragedy, poetry, and intricate relationships among girls and their boyfriends, friends, and teachers."
TeenReads.com, January 22, 2014:
"This book is truly beautiful both inside and out. Within the story, Hubbard elegantly navigates the prose of Emily’s life combined with the many poems Emily writes to cope with the misfortunes that have befallen her...The way Hubbard writes AND WE STAY is both attractive and exquisite."
From the Hardcover edition.
HONOR 2015 Michael L. Printz Honor Book