Sphere has announced Irish journalist Edel Coffey’s debut novel, Breaking Point, will be a superlead for the publisher in 2022, following a multi-publisher auction and six-figure deal.
The book tells the story of Susannah, a successful doctor with a husband and two young children who, one morning, leaves her youngest in the car, only realising when it is too late.
According to the book's synopsis, a gruelling court case ensures where Susannah is tried for negligence. Meanwhile the media's glare is upon her "for daring to try to have it all" as the situation evolves into "a modern day witch hunt".
Darcy Nicholson, editorial director at Sphere, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights for the debut novel plus a second book from literary agent Marianne Gunn O’Connor.
Coffey said: "I have been repeatedly astonished and overwhelmed by the responses to Breaking Point. From the moment I sent it to my amazing agent Marianne Gunn O’Connor the reaction to the book has been the stuff of dreams but Sphere's response and vision surpassed anything I dreamed of. When I read Darcy Nicholson’s heartwarming letter and detailed proposal from her colleagues outlining their plans for the book, I just knew Sphere would be the ones to publish it. Darcy’s response to the book was so immediate and passionate, and her understanding and vision for the book were so insightful, I knew she was the right editor for it. I am now so delighted and honoured to call Sphere my publishers."
Nicholson said: "I read Breaking Point overnight and knew it was something we had to bring in as a superlead title for the Sphere list; I can already see book clubs debating the trial verdict long into the night. And we have here not only a phenomenal debut novel but a phenomenal debut novelist—Edel is a consummate professional and I’m looking forward to all the success coming her way over the years to come."