Pushkin Vertigo has acquired a "gripping" French novel about a woman trapped in a disturbing and toxic relationship.
World rights in The Second Woman by Paris-based feminist author Louise Mey were acquired from Eva Bredin at J C Lattes. The agency reports "strong interest in TV rights", also, following the book's earlier publication in France in January.
The Second Woman tells the story of Sandrine, an isolated woman with complex self-esteem issues. The synopsis for the book reads: "One day she sees a man on TV despairing for his wife who has mysteriously disappeared. Sandrine becomes close to this man, turning a blind eye to his potentially insidious and violent behaviour. When the first wife reappears, Sandrine must come to grips with the reality of the man she has fallen in love with."
The Second Woman is Mey's fourth novel, but the first to be published in English. She said: "Having The Second Woman published by Pushkin Vertigo is a great opportunity to share this story with an extensive audience. I humbly aim at telling good stories while raising awareness on the systemic issue of violence against women. The Second Woman is a story about how strong women are, and how legitimate our anger is. I'm very, very excited and grateful to see this story reach new readers."
Editor Harriet Wade, who did the deal for Pushkin, said: "The Second Woman combines a character-driven, page-turning plot with a real thematic richness, resulting in a highly original and contemporary novel. It feels perfectly suited to the Vertigo list, which prizes compelling and smart stories above all else."
The Second Woman will publish in autumn 2021.