Hodder has acquired The Charmed Wife by Olga Grushin, "a sophisticated literary fairy tale for the 21st century" in which Cinderella decides 13 years after her happy ending that she wants her Prince Charming dead.
Commissioning editor Thorne Ryan secured UK and Commonwealth rights in the "endlessly surprising" book from Tom Dussel at PRH USA. It will be published in the US by Putnam, Penguin Random House.
The synopsis for The Charmed Wife reads: "Cinderella married the man of her dreams–the perfect ending she deserved after diligently following all the fairy tale rules. Yet now, two children and 13 and a half years later, things have gone badly wrong. One night, she sneaks out of the palace to get help from the witch who, for a price, offers love potions to disgruntled housewives. But as the old hag flings the last ingredients into the cauldron, Cinderella doesn't ask for a love spell to win back her Prince Charming. Instead, she wants him dead."
Grushin was born in Moscow and moved to the US aged 18. She is the author of Forty Rooms, The Line and The Dream Life of Sukhanov (Penguin). She said: "I conceived The Charmed Wife while going through a difficult divorce when I felt the need for wonder, magic, and fresh narratives in my life. I found my subversive exploration of fairy tales a joy to write, and now, in the midst of such trying times, I hope to bring some of that sense of joy and discovery to my readers. I am deeply honoured to be working with Hodder & Stoughton to make this a reality."
Ryan said: "The Charmed Wife is one of those books that has you wandering around in a daze when you’ve finished it. Delightfully whimsical yet frighteningly incisive, it is an inspired, subversive commentary on the reality of the 'happily ever after' myth that is still fed to little girls to this day. I am in awe of Olga Grushin’s genius in writing it and cannot wait to publish it on my list."
The Charmed Wife will publish in hardback and e-book in January 2021.