Hodder & Stoughton has bagged Love, Hope by Juliet Ann Conlin, an "uplifting" and "life-affirming" epistolary novel about overcoming loneliness and finding happiness.
Commissioning editor Thorne Ryan bought world rights from Jenny Brown at the Jenny Brown Literacy Agency, and plans to publish in e-book in October 2021 and in paperback in January 2022.
The book has been billed as perfect for fans of Where Rainbows End and The Keeper of Lost Things.
The synopsis reads: "Ever since she first picked up a violin, Hope Sullivan dreamed of going to music college, joining an orchestra and travelling the world with her best friend Janey. But when her parents were killed in a car accident on the way to one of her recitals, she gave it all up to look after her younger sister, Autumn. Ten years later, Janey is living their dream on her own, Autumn is flourishing as a doctor and Hope's life is smaller and less musical than ever. Meanwhile, Arnold Quince had the happiest of lives – until he lost his beloved wife Marion. Once the life and soul of the village, he withdrew into his grief and pushed all his friends away. Now, five years on, he is sick, lonely and just counting down the years until he can be with Marion again. But then Hope and Arnold are pushed into writing to one another, and neither has any idea how much their life is about to change..."
Conlin, born in London and now living in Berlin, works as a writer and translator. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and a PhD in Psychology from the University of Durham, and she has written four previous novels. She said: "With all that’s been going on recently in the world, it felt good and important to be writing about the essence of our shared humanity: friendship, love and compassion. It was a joy to write, and I hope my readers connect with the characters as much as I have."
Ryan said: "Love, Hope is one of those books you get immediately lost in. The brilliant hook, unusual structure, universal themes, vivid characters and Juliet’s poignant, nuanced yet lively writing are a breathtaking combination, and I just devoured it in one sitting. It’s exactly what the world needs right now, and I cannot wait for readers to discover it."