Orion has snapped up Mothering Sunday from debut author Sara James, in a two-book deal.
Harriet Bourton, publisher at Orion Fiction, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights through Rowan Lawton at The Soho Agency.
Described as a "heart-rending and absorbing story about motherhood, forbidden love and long-buried secrets", the book has been pitched as a fictional treat for fans of ITV's "Long Lost Family" and is slated for March 2021 in paperback, e-book and audio.
The synopsis reads: "One crisp, bright Mothering Sunday, Alexandra Abbott’s elderly mother, Elizabeth, reveals a secret she has kept buried her whole life. Can the truth finally right the past and bring a mother and daughter who’ve never met together?"
Sara James studied at St Martin's School of Art and went on to write for national papers and women's magazines. She also has an MA in creative writing from Sussex University. She is the director of the bluepencilagency, an editorial consultancy working with both published and unpublished authors.
Bourton said: "Sara’s warm-hearted, absorbing story of a daughter connecting with the biological mother she never knew existed is the kind of comforting, hopeful read we all need right now. Combining a charmingly Bohemian '60s setting with all the heart of a sweeping family drama, Mothering Sunday is a perfect springtime treat for yourself or the ones you love. It will appeal to fans of Fern Britton and Rachel Hore, as well as those who have smiled and cried along to 'Who Do You Think You Are?' and 'Long Lost Family'."
James said: "My mother temporarily abandoned my sister and brother when they were young, and I didn’t know the true emotional repercussions of that abandonment until many years later. My mother was haunted by her mistake and although she tried to make amends, the initial wounds never quite healed. I believe the effects of abandonment ripple through generations and I hadn’t realised how this affected me until I started writing. As a mother, I can’t imagine having to give up a child but it happened to many women in the '50s and '60 and still does. In Mothering Sunday, I wanted to create a happy outcome that people could relate to and be uplifted by."