Orion has acquired the story of a 10-year relationship told in 24 hours, Our Life in a Day. Pitched as “One Day meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, the book is a love story that also explores issues around male mental health.
Ben Willis, senior commissioning editor at Orion Publishing Group, acquired world all language rights in Our Life in a Day by Jamie Fewery from Charlie Campbell at Kingsford Campbell, to be published by Orion Fiction in January 2019.
The plot of the book takes off when, on the eve of their 10th anniversary, Esme challenges partner Tom to play a game of her own invention called 'Our Life in a Day', in which he must pick 24 of the most significant moments from their time together, one for each hour in a day, from 12pm to 12am. The blurb teases: "But Tom knows that no relationship is perfect – and every game must have a loser."
Author Fewery said, although about the impact of depression, there was "warmth, humour and hope" to be found in the story.
"With Tom and Esme, I wanted to look at a long-term relationship through the individual moments that really matter – whether comic or tragic – to explore how two people grow and change over the years. As well as a love story, at its heart Our Life in a Day is about male mental health, and how one man’s struggle with depression, anxiety and addiction colours his life and relationships," he said. "Like millions of men, Tom deals with his issues in silence, which has major consequences for those closest to him – and for himself. But in the face of this can be found warmth, humour and, ultimately, hope."
Orion editor Willis added: "Suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49 years in England, and in 2016 75% of recorded suicides in the UK were men. Jamie’s novel not only shines a light on the cyclical nature of a disease we as a society still struggle to fully open up about, but it’s also a brilliantly funny, warm and honest love story. I hope that Our Life in a Day gives readers a chance to think about these issues more closely. And I know readers fall in love with Tom and Esme as much as I did."
Our Life in a Day will be published by Orion Fiction in paperback original in January 2019.