HarperCollins has snapped up The Kingfisher Patrol, a new novel from Hazel Gaynor set in Japanese-occupied China during the Second World War.
Lynne Drew acquired British Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, in a deal with Anna Carmichael of Abner Stein on behalf of Michelle Brower of Aevitas Creative, New York. It will be published in autumn 2020. HarperCollins will also release the novel in the US, where the book was acquired by Lucia Macro at William Morrow.
The novel “follows a remarkable group of international school children, Girl Guides, and their teachers as they face the devastating impact of internment, separation, and an uncertain future”. The synopsis explains: “Told through the dual narratives of one of the teachers and one of the children, and inspired by true events, it tells of a unique community faced with isolation and imprisonment in a forgotten corner of the war.”
Gaynor is an award-winning historical fiction author whose books include The Girl Who Came Home (William Morrow), winner of the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award. She has been published in 13 languages and 19 countries.
Gaynor said: ”I'm so thrilled to be publishing The Kingfisher Patrol with the wonderful team at HarperCollins. When I first discovered this remarkable story of female courage and resilience during WW2 in China, I was absolutely fascinated, and knew I had to write a novel about it. I've been researching and writing the book over the past two years, and it is wonderful to have Lynne and the team now share my passion and excitement for the story. We can't wait for readers to discover The Kingfisher Patrol next year.”
Lynne Drew said: “The hidden stories of the Second World War continue to fascinate, and Hazel has woven a remarkable story of endurance, courage and the human spirit in a distant corner of the Far East, through the Kingfisher Patrol girl guides and their internment. It’s going to touch a huge number of readers.”