Cornerstone has signed a six-figure deal for a début novel about a Mormon family in Lancashire.
Hutchinson publishing director Jocasta Hamilton signed world rights to Here We Are Together by Carys Bray (pictured) from Veronique Baxter at David Higham Associates.
The "devastatingly emotional and sharply observed" novel tells of a Lancashire Mormon family whose world is shattered when the youngest daughter, Issy, dies. The father believes the family will see her again in heaven, while seven-year-old Jacob thinks he'll be able to perform a resurrection miracle if he prays hard enough.
Hamilton said she had been "weeping with the different members of the Bradley family" as she read the novel. “Emotionally true, morally interesting, structurally inventive, Here We Are Together takes you to the heart of what being part of a family means,” she said.
Bray herself grew up in a strict Mormon family. In her early thirties she "replaced religion with writing", winning the MA category of the 2010 Edge Hill Prize and since publishing stories in a variety of literary magazines. She lives in Southport, Merseyside.
Hutchinson will publish in hardback in June 2014, promising extensive cross-platform publicity and marketing. US rights have gone to Ballantine, and Cornerstone reports strong international interest ahead of the Frankfurt Book Fair.