Century has signed a two-book deal with actress and writer Emma Kennedy, including a "moving, multi-generational" novel called The Box of Dreams.
Launching Kennedy's career as a novelist, Arrow deputy publisher Emily Griffin acquired world rights in all languages in two books from Kennedy through Sheila Crowley at Curtis Brown.
The Box of Dreams will publish in Century hardcover, trade paperback and ebook in August 2019 with an Arrow paperback following in February 2020.
An ultimately "uplifting" novel, it tells the story of Rachel, who returns to her family home in Oxfordshire in the wake of a broken relationship and her father’s recent passing. When her mother dies suddenly, Rachel is unable to shake the memory of the many things left unsaid between them. Then she finds a box of keepsakes hidden away in her mother’s wardrobe, and Rachel starts to unpick a story that takes her back to the hedonistic world of west London in the sixties, and reveals long-held secrets about them both.
Griffin praised the "vivid" cast of characters Kennedy had created while bringing to life both a stunning Oxfordshire setting and the excitement of 1960s London. She added: "Through Rachel and her mother, Emma explores with huge insight the ways in which we are defined by the past – and how we each remember it differently. This is a wonderful, uplifting read and the perfect novel with which to launch Emma’s career as a novelist."
Kennedy has appeared in numerous TV comedies including "Goodness Gracious Me" and "Miranda" and also wrote the BBC’s TV adaptation "The Kennedys", based on her memoir The Tent, the Bucket and Me (Ebury).
She commented: "Since my mother died four years ago I have been fascinated with how memories define us and how we use them to imagine our past and our present. The Box of Dreams is about just that: false memories, complex relationships and how grief can renew a sense of who we really are. I am excited and thrilled to be working with Emily Griffin who is a wonderful editor and who I have no doubt will steer me towards producing my very best."