Hutchinson has pre-empted world rights in The Remaking of Clara Falkenberg, a historical novel by debut writer Anika Scott.
Sarah Rigby, senior editor at Hutchinson, did the deal through Laetitia Rutherford at Watson, Little, to publish in print, e-book and audio in 2020.
According to Cornerstone’s rights team, led by Pippa Wright, the book is now receiving “strong interest” in US rights and translation at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
The book is about a woman brought up to become Germany’s most illustrious heiress - until the Second World War hits leaving with little but a false identity card, her past and her country in ruins.
Rigby described it an “emotionally charged, morally complex, incredibly personal drama” that also feels “very current”. It has “a heroine that readers will take to their hearts as she searches for a new truth in a ravaged new world,” she added.
Scott, a freelance journalist by trade, grew up in the US but now lives in Essen, Germany, where the novel is set. She said: “I’m so excited readers will be able to follow Clara into the mysteries and dangers of Germany just after the war. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of changing who we are, or thought we were. What has to happen before we have the courage to do it? That’s what Clara has to find out.”
Hutchinson will publish in hardback in the first half of 2020 with a Windmill paperback to follow.