Coronet has landed the “compassionate, dark and funny” debut novel from Kit Fielding, an author of gypsy descent, telling the stories of six marginalised women.
Publisher Hannah Black bought world rights from Peter Buckman at the Ampersand Agency. Thursday Nights at the Bluebell Inn will be published in August.
Telling the story of six very different women who come together to form a darts team, the synopsis explains: “They banter and laugh and have a drink. And at the end of the night they go home to their secret histories and buried losses. There is Mary, full of it, but cradling her dark secret; Lena – young and bold, she has made her choice; the cat woman who must return to the place of her birth before it’s too late. There’s Maggie, sill laying out the place for her husband; and Pegs the dark-eyed girl from the travellers’ site. And Katy; unappreciated. Open to an offer. They know little of each other but each week they meet and weave a delicate and sustaining connection that maybe they can rely on as the joys and tragedies on their individual paths threaten to overwhelm them.”
Black said: “Compassionate, dark and funny, this is a wonderful debut from a singular author. Kit Fielding is masterly in the distilling of emotions, and in showing the ways lives can come undone. Bringing his own heritage to bear, the voices of these women sing from the page with power and poignancy.”
Fielding left school early, working various job to help support his family. He comes from a line of travellers, and now at the age of 70 he’s married and lives in a caravan, usually parked somewhere by the sea.
He said: “From moving around so much in my childhood, and encountering so many people from all walks of life, I’ve always loved telling people’s stories, and more than that, I’ve loved hearing the stories that they are prepared to share with those around them – particularly in communal spaces and close communities. It’s been fascinating to imagine the lives of my characters, sitting in their pub, sharing a drink and their stories.”