Hutchinson has acquired an account of life on the front-line of the NHS by midwife Leah Hazard in a "hotly contested" seven-way auction.
Sarah Rigby, senior editor at Hutchinson, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) in print, e-book and audio for Hard Pushed: Notes of a Midwife from Hayley Steed at Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency.
Hard Pushed is decribed as a love letter to Hazard's fellow midwives as well as to her "brave" patients and to the National Health Service.
"Moving, compassionate and candid, it will give readers an astonishing insight into a life as an NHS midwife today, celebrating the strength and power of both the women having babies, and the midwives helping them," Hutchinson promises.
Both Hazard's publisher and her agent said the book inspired tears and laughter.
Rigby commented: "Hard Pushed has an emotional depth and physicality that you can almost smell, hear, reach out and touch. It will bring readers to tears, to laughter and to an unfailing sense of the power of women. This important and timely book will give voice to the experiences of thousands of midwives and the people they care for at the most frightening, empowering, exposing, happiest moments of their lives."
Steed added: "I both wept and laughed at my desk when I first read Leah’s proposal ... This book is going to make waves with women – and men – everywhere, breaking the taboo of speaking openly about childbirth and uncensoring these women’s experiences."
Hutchinson will publish in hardback in May 2019 followed by an Arrow paperback 2020.