David Nicholls is bringing out a "poignant" and "funny" coming-of-age novel with Hodder, called Sweet Sorrow, next July.
A decade on since publishing his international bestselling novel One Day, Nicholls' new tragicomedy Sweet Sorrow will be all about negotiating the rocky path to adulthood as well as "the heart-stopping thrill of first love" and "the potency of friendship".
The novel will by Nicholls' fifth, following on from Starter for Ten, The Understudy, One Day and Us, sales of which have reached over 8million copies in over 40 languages worldwide according to Hodder. Promised to be "a major publishing event", publication will involve "major" publicity and marketing campaigns, details of which have yet to be revealed.
Sweet Sorrow, slated for publication on 11th July in e-book and hardback, is the story of one life-changing summer for 16-year-old Charlie Lewis.
The blurb reads: "Charlie is the kind of boy you don’t remember in the school photograph. As the summer stretches before him, his exams have not gone well. At home he is looking after his father, when surely it should be the other way around, and if he thinks about the future at all, it is with a kind of dread.
"Then Fran Fisher bursts into his life and although it’s unthinkable, Charlie, despite himself, begins to hope.
"But if Charlie wants to be with Fran, he must accept a challenge that will lose him the respect of his friends and almost require him to become a different person. He must join the Company. And if the Company sounds like a cult, the truth is even more appalling: the price of hope, it seems, is Shakespeare."
Nicholls commented: “I wanted to write about youth in an entirely honest way, the joy and angst, the heart-stopping thrill of first love, the potency of friendship, the worry and misery too. Sweet Sorrow is a tragicomedy about a very particular time, a turning point in the life of an unremarkable young man who is suddenly offered an opportunity to change his fortunes. The hope, I suppose, is that the reader will turn the pages and think, ‘yes, I remember exactly what that felt like'.”
Nick Sayers, publisher of Hodder Fiction, said the book was "everything we could have hoped for and more" while Nicholls' agent Jonny Geller of Curtis Brown expressed confidence it was going to be "the summer novel of 2019".
"I can’t think of anyone who combines such insight and humour, sadness and joy quite so brilliantly," said Sayers. "This is a major novel and we are so excited to be publishing it next summer.
Geller, m.d. of Curtis Brown Literary Agency, added: “David Nicholls has the remarkable ability of writing stories that feel as if he has personally been observing your life and playing all the most awkward parts back to you. Funny and full of pathos, David is a master of capturing one’s past and laying bare our relationships, familial or romantic. Sweet Sorrow is going to be THE summer novel of 2019.”
In total Nicholls has sold 2.7 million books for £16.09m, with One Day his bestseller; the paperback has sold 1.26 million copies to date.