Cornerstone's Del Rey imprint will publish Alexandra Bell's The Winter Garden, an "enchanting" novel set in Victorian England.
Del Rey UK acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Thérèse Coen at Hardman & Swainson Literary Agency, with publication slated for September 2021.
The synopsis explains: "The Winter Garden is set in Victorian England, and tells the story of Beatrice, who is visited as a child by the magical Winter Garden on the eve of her mother’s death. Years later, she goes in search of the garden, but when both she and her closest friend, Rosa, receive invitations to compete to create spectacular pleasure gardens—with the prize being one wish from the last of the Winter Garden’s magic—she realises she may be closer than she ever imagined."
Sam Bradbury, senior editor at Del Rey, said: "The Winter Garden captivated me. Alex’s writing is stunningly evocative, and truly brings to life the magical world of pleasure gardens she has created. I can’t wait for readers to fall in love with Beatrice and Rosa’s story of friendship between strong complicated women, botany and the drive to find or create magic in everything we do. I would foresee fans of The Toymakers and The Watchmaker of Filigree Street falling head over heels for this beautiful story."
Bell said: "I'm so pleased this story has found a home with Del Rey. It was such a pleasure escaping into a world of magical pleasure gardens during 2020, and I really hope that readers will enjoy it too."
Bell has previously written books for adults and young adults under the name Alex Bell, including Frozen Charlotte (Stripes Publishing, 2015) and The Polar Bear Explorer’s Club series (Faber & Faber, 2020).