Arrow will publish a "breathtaking" debut novel by Paula Greenlees inspired by the three years she lived in Singapore.
Editor Sonny Marr acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to The Rain Tree along with one other novel from Caroline Hardman at Hardman & Swainson. The Cornerstone imprint will publish the first book in e-book and paperback paperback original in spring 2021.
The Rain Tree tells the story of Miranda, a bereaved mother who moves from England to Singapore in the shadow of the Second World War. "Miranda steps on shore with a broken heart and the hope that a fresh start, far away from her painful memories, will finally help her heal. What follows is a tale of friendship, hope, and love, set against the gloriously realised, vibrant landscape of post-war Singapore," reads the synopsis.
Marr said: "The Rain Tree is a book that takes your breath away. A sweeping historical novel about stolen glances, second chances and matters of the heart. Miranda’s story is deeply moving and beautifully told, and the pin-sharp realisation of the post-war Singapore setting is utterly intoxicating. Paula Greenlees is a startling new talent and we are thrilled to be welcoming her to Arrow."
Greenlees added: "I can’t wait for readers to journey with Miranda to post-war Singapore and relish a story of loss, longing and self-discovery – all set against a background of dramatic political upheaval. I’m absolutely thrilled to have my debut novel published on the Arrow list."
Greenlees has an undergraduate degree in English and European Thought and Literature, and a Masters Degree in Creative Writing. She spent three years living in Singapore surrounded by the history and culture that provided the inspiration for The Rain Tree.