Sphere has acquired two novels in a debut historical saga by author Sue Wilsher.
Set in 1950's Essex, Wilsher's first novel, When My Ship Comes In, draws on her family connections to Tilbury Docks to tell the story of Flo, a woman determined to work her way to a better life.
Deputy publisher for Sphere fiction Maddie West acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in two books from Laura Longrigg at MBA.
Wilsher said: "I am delighted to be published by the Sphere team at Little, Brown and to work with Maddie West, who has really connected with the story of Flo and her daughter and their struggle with the expectations for women in 1950s Britain."
West said: "This is the saga I’ve been looking for. It’s gritty, emotional and very, very affecting. I hope Flo’s story – a bright, ambitious woman, up against the poverty of 1950s Britain - will resonate with readers like me, whose mothers and grandmothers worked and studied their way out of post-war estates to give their daughters a chance for more."
Longrigg added: "Maddie West and the team at Sphere are very, very good at publishing sagas and we are excited about their plans for Sue and her wonderful novel".
When My Ship Comes In will be published in hardback in September 2016, with a B-format paperback in January 2017.