Mantle has pre-empted a debut novel by Australian author Holly Ringland, about a young girl who uses flowers to communicate.
Sam Humphreys, associate publisher for Mantle, acquired UK rights to the book through Sharon Galant at Zeitgeist Media Group.
The novel, currently entitled The Centre is Red, tells the story of Alice Hart, orphaned when she is nine and sent to live with her paternal grandmother, who she's never met. Through her grandmother, she begins to use flowers to say the things that are too hard to speak – a language that will help and haunt her in equal measure when she discovers the truth about her past.
Humphreys said: "Holly's novel is truly wonderful; it's rich and evocative, with shades of Vanessa Diffenbaugh's The Language of Flowers – although also entirely original. I fell in love with Alice, who we see as both a young girl and a young woman, and loved following her story as she learns to trust her heart and finally find her place in the world. I'm absolutely delighted to be publishing this book in the UK."
The Centre is Red has sold to Harper Collins Australia, Random House Germay, Luitingh Sijthoff in Holland, Garzanti in Italy and Salamandra in Spain, with further deals expected.
Mantle will publish spring 2018.