Harvill Secker will publish Small Miracles by Anne Booth, the story of three Catholic nuns who turn to playing the lottery in the hopes of saving their run-down convent.
Jade Chandler, editorial director, bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Jo Unwin at JULA Ltd. Rights have also been sold in Germany and Finland, with Unwin fielding "considerable" film and TV interest.
Booth has written more than 20 children's books, but Small Miracles is her first title for adults. The novel was inspired by two happy periods of time that she spent in a convent when she was a teenager, exploring whether she had a vocation to be a religious Sister. In the end Booth made the decision to go to university, then went on to get married and have four children, but she never forgot the wonderful characters of the Sisters she met, says the publisher.
Chandler said: "I am over the moon to be publishing Small Miracles. I read the manuscript in one big gulp and fell in love with not just the three Sisters, but with the whole charming, relatable cast of characters. Anne writes with a warm heart and a deep understanding of what it means to be human, to love and to lose, and the importance of enduring friendship and community in times of uncertainty. With these three wise women at the centre of the story, Small Miracles beautifully captures the important role that older women often play in holding our communities together. It’s the perfect feel-good read for these turbulent times, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone!"
Booth said: "I was so happy when Jo Unwin told me that Jade Chandler had loved Small Miracles, and when I met her on Zoom and heard about her plans for it, I knew Sisters Cecilia, Margaret and Bridget, and all the other characters in the book, had found a good home. I am so excited about Harvill Secker publishing my first book for adults."
Booth's children's titles include Lucy Makes a Wish (OUP, 2019), Magical Kingdom of Birds: The Silent Songbirds (OUP, 2019) and Lucy's Search for Little Star (OUP, 2018).