Picador has taken on the first novel, My House is Falling Down, by non-fiction writer Mary Loudon exploring the impact of infidelity on a marriage.
My House is Falling Down is described as “a searing, highly-charged… and fearless exploration of what infidelity means when no one is lying, and how brutal honesty may yet prove the biggest taboo in our relationships”. It will be published in hardcover, e-book and audio on 16th May.
Lucy has been married to Mark for over a decade, the synopsis reads. When she falls in love with Angus, a pianist in his 60s, her shock is extreme. Adamant that she will not deceive her husband, she instead asks his advice. Mark reacts in an unorthodox way, leaving Lucy to steer an impossible course between duty and desire, adventure and security. As her marriage falters and Angus presses for commitment, she is forced to choose between family and self with lifelong consequences for everyone.
Picador editor Kris Doyle acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Georgina Capel at Georgina Capel Associates.
Doyle said: “What makes this book so interesting is that it’s an infidelity story in which nobody lies. Instead of asking, ‘Will she get caught?,’ this is a novel about what happens in a marriage when everybody tells the truth. Intimate, honest, frequently funny, and utterly compelling, it pushes against a lot of societal conventions and I think it’s really going to get people talking.”
The book has attracted endorsements from authors such as Laline Paull, Andrew Miller and Elizabeth Buchan, and the Channel 4 News broadcaster Jon Snow.
Loudon said: “Having written non-fiction for years, I loved exploring both the freedom that fiction confers, choosing where to place the shock “reveal”, and its strictures, too. I wanted the reader’s experience to match the intense velocity of falling in love, so the novel had to be short – and it is.”
Previously Loudon has written four non-fiction books: Relative Stranger: A Sister’s Life After Death (Canongate), Secrets & Lives: Middle England Revealed (Macmillan), Revelations: The Clergy Questioned (Penguin) and Unveiled: Nuns Talking (Vintage). She has won four writer’s prizes, been shortlisted for the MIND Book of the Year award, and longlisted for the Richard and Judy Book of the Year award.