Coronet has acquired the debut novel of Kate Sawyer examining life after near global extinction.
UK and Commonwealth rights to The Stranding were snapped up by editorial director Melissa Cox from Claire Wilson of RCW.
The plot is centred on the life of a young woman before and after a global extinction event, which she survives by taking refuge inside the body of a whale.
The synopsis reads: "Leaving behind her failing relationship, but also her beloved friends and family, Ruth travels to the other side of the world in pursuit of her dream life working with whales in New Zealand. As the world begins to fall apart around her, Ruth finds herself climbing into the mouth of a beached whale alongside a stranger, with no real hope of survival. When they emerge, it is to a landscape that bears no relation to the world they knew before. What has led Ruth to this point and what comes after is explored in an assured and hugely timely debut novel about the hope that can remain even when the world is changed beyond recognition."
Cox said: “Sometimes an agent will pitch a book and it sparks something inside of you, even before you’ve read a single word. This is exactly what happened to me with The Stranding – I simply had to know more. Kate Sawyer’s writing does not disappoint – she has crafted a beautiful, moving story that has made me cry each time I’ve read it. I cannot wait to share this confident new voice in fiction with readers."
Sawyer has worked as an actor and producer, and she wrote several short films and plays before turning her hand to fiction. She said: “I feel so lucky to have found such passionate custodians of my debut novel; at times I’ve felt the need to pinch myself to check I’m not dreaming! Whilst writing The Stranding, I tried always to trust my instincts; and my instincts told me, from our first meeting, that Melissa and the team at Coronet were the ones to help me share this story.”
The Stranding will be published by Coronet in hardback, e-book and audio on 24th June 2021.