The Words We Keep (Hardcover)

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A beautifully realistic, relatable story about mental health—anxiety, perfectionism, depression—and the healing powers of art—perfect for fans of Girl in Pieces and How it Feels to Float. Whatever you struggle with, you are not alone and you are already enough—just the way you are.

It's been three months since The Night on the Bathroom Floor--when Lily found her older sister Alice hurting herself. Ever since then, Lily has been desperately trying to keep things together, for herself and for her family. But now Alice is coming home from her treatment program and it is becoming harder for Lily to ignore all of the feelings she's been trying to outrun.

Enter Micah, a new student at school with a past of his own. He was in treatment with Alice and seems determined to get Lily to process not only Alice's experience, but her own. Because Lily has secrets, too. Compulsions she can't seem to let go of and thoughts she can't drown out.

When Lily and Micah embark on an art project for school involving finding poetry in unexpected places, she realizes that it's the words she's been swallowing that desperately want to break through.

"A tender, heartfelt, and realistic look at mental illness, familial love, and finding your voice."—Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces

About the Author

Erin Stewart grew up in Virginia and now makes her home in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains with her husband and their three children. Erin loves using her background in journalism to research and write fiction based on real life. A heart failure survivor and adoptive mother, she believes life throws plot twists and people in our path for a reason--always. She is the author of the acclaimed YA novel Scars Like Wings. Visit her at or on Twitter/Instagram @Erin_N_Stewart.

Praise For…

Praise for The Words We Keep:


★ "A sprawling, engrossing read, Stewart’s latest succeeds in mapping out the toll of anxiety disorder with scrupulous, cleareyed detail. Above all, however, there’s an overpowering sense of hope underlined by an achingly sincere message: Speak up and get help if needed. Indispensably candid."—Kirkus, starred review

★ "An excellent choice."—SLJ, starred review

★ “In Lily’s frank, forthcoming voice, Stewart mingles Lily’s love of words—blackout poetry, social media posts coining terms that should exist—with specific descriptions of anxiety disorder–related distress that will resonate with many readers.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

Wild, beautiful, and free. The Words We Keep is a poetic page turner. A raw, relatable story of mental illness, romance, and the power of love.”Jennifer Niven, #1 New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places

"A gorgeous and deeply touching rumination on the power of art, this book is for anyone who has lost their words and lost their way. The Words We Keep is a tender, heartfelt, and realistic look at mental illness, familial love, and finding your voice."Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces and You'd Be Home Now

"The Words We Keep is a luminous exploration into the restorative power of love and art. The only thing it contains more of than poetry is raw, unfiltered hope. This book is a healing balm to a wounded heart."Jeff Zentner, Morris Award–winning author of In the Wild Light

“Stewart offers a realistic portrait of Lily's lonely battle.”—Buffalo News
Product Details
ISBN: 9781984848864
ISBN-10: 1984848860
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: March 15th, 2022
Pages: 400
Language: English