Little, Brown imprint Sphere has acquired The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club by Sophie Green from Hachette Australia.
Senior editor Manpreet Grewal pre-empted UK and Commonwealth (excluding Australia and New Zealand) and translation rights in the book, pitched as “the perfect feel-good read for book lovers everywhere”, from Sarah Brooks, rights manager at Hachette Australia.
Set in Australia in the late 1970s, the novel features five very different women who are united by their love of books. But while books bring them together, the friendships they form will transform all of their lives. Each year of Fairvale’s story, which takes place from 1978 to 1981, is prefaced with big-news events of the period.
Grewal said: “As soon as I started reading Fairvale I knew it was going to be a very special book. It’s a terrific multi-generational novel about female friendship and books, and it’s quite simply one the most charming and heart-warming books I’ve ever read. Little, Brown is the very proud publisher of The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul and The Little Paris Bookshop, so we’re in the best possible position to make Fairvale the next big story for book lovers everywhere. If you love books, you’ll love Fairvale.”
Green said: “It is an honour to join Sphere’s list of outstanding writers of fiction that entertains, enthrals, warms the heart and, overall, gives readers lots of wonderful reasons to curl up with a book. This is a dynamic house that cares very much about readers and bringing the best books to them. As readers were my main focus while writing this novel - and the main characters are also readers - I am thrilled that Sphere has taken it on.”
Fairvale will be published in Australia and New Zealand in August 2017, and Sphere will publish in export C format in spring 2018, with the mass-market paperback following in late 2018.