John Murray is publishing a new novel from Susan Beale, whose debut novel The Good Guy was shortlisted for 2016's Costa First Novel Award.
Commissioning editor Becky Walsh acquired rights in Misplaced Persons, the second novel from Beale, from Caroline Wood at Felicity Bryan Associates.
Described as "beautifully told", the book's story is set against a backdrop of growing terror threats and Europe’s worst refugee crisis in decades, and "deftly explores the strength of family bonds and the meaning of home".
The synopsis reads: "Rocked by her husband’s affair, a woman decides to welcome a refugee into her home. It has been 18 years since the Yardley family moved to Brussels and their future is clouded with uncertainty. Wrapped up in their own worries, Neil and Marcy fail to see that their middle child is struggling, and when Marcy offers shelter to a young Syrian refugee, it triggers an explosive train of events that affects every member of the family."
Walsh said: "I’m so happy to be working with Susan to bring her second novel to readers. On a line-by-line level, Misplaced Persons is a beautifully told story about family and familial relationships. But it also isn’t afraid to explore quite timely and relevant themes, including the effects of the refugee crisis on a human level, as well as the growing threat of terrorism in Europe."
Beale said: "It’s a pleasure to be working with the fantastic folks at John Murray again. When I began writing Misplaced Persons, the world appeared unusually fractious and divisive. As voices eager to sort us into rival clans of ‘us’ and ‘them’ grew ever louder, it seemed the desire to belong—that basic human need—was a subject crying out for further exploration, particularly to this American, now in her fourth decade living in Europe. I can’t wait to share the book with readers."
John Murray will publish on 4th March 2021 in hardback and e-book.