Orion has snapped up the debut novel from “future star” Katherine Slee, revolving around a coded dedication in a children’s book.
Ben Willis, senior commissioning editor, acquired world all language rights from Hayley Steed at the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency. For Emily will be published by Orion Fiction in spring 2020.
The synopsis explains: “When the country's favourite children's author dies, her only granddaughter Emily discovers a coded dedication in her first book. And then another in her second; and another – every one apparently written just for Emily, and each a clue that will lead her on a bigger quest in search of her grandmother’s much-rumoured final manuscript. An elective mute and recluse, if Emily ever hopes to find it she must take a leap into the unknown. All she needs is a little dedication.”
Slee, a former investment banker, said: “Is a book dedication ever anything more than just a name typed onto a page? Whenever I read them, I’m always curious to know who the people behind the names might be, which in turn led me to consider the idea of them being used as clues to something more. In For Emily, it is a treasure-trail designed for a loved one, in order to show them that life can be an adventure if only you’re willing to take the first step.”
Willis added: “Charming, warm, uplifting, humane, and about love and loss through the generations, and finding your own way in the world, For Emily is a brilliant debut novel from a future star in commercial reading group fiction. Fans of Lost For Words by Stephanie Butland and The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan will adore it.”