Simon & Schuster is to publish Eve Verde's debut novel Lives Like Mine next summer.
The publisher pre-empted world all languages rights to the novel, in a deal brokered by Abi Fellows of The Good Literary Agency with Clare Hey, publishing director at S&S.
The synopsis explains: "With her three children in school, Monica finds herself wondering if this is all there is. Despite all the effort and the smiles, in the mirror she sees a woman hollowed out from putting everyone else first, tolerating her in-laws’ intolerance, and wondering if she has a right to complain when she’s living the life that she has created for herself.
"Then along comes Joe, a catalyst for change in the guise of a flirtatious parent on the school run. Though the sudden spark of their affair is hedonistic and oh so cathartic, Joe soon offers a friendship that shows Monica how to resurrect and honour the parts of her identity that she has long suppressed. He is able to do for Monica what Dan has never managed to, enabling her both to face up to a past of guilty secrets and family estrangements, and to redefine her future."
Hey said: "Eva’s writing is urgent and relatable, and she speaks fluently about themes of identity and race, particularly in the divided world we currently live in. Her writing gets to the heart of what it means to be a woman in a modern family and I think it will connect with readers who are looking for intelligent and thought-provoking fiction."
Fellows added: "From my first encounter with Eva’s writing in Common People, it was clear to me that she is a writer of exceptional talent. Her debut novel is bitingly relevant and timely; every bit the product of the political disorders of our time and the societal splits that they have exposed. It is also a refreshingly honest portrait of the realities of midlife. I found a heroine in Monica and a freshness and originality of voice in Eva Verde and I am so thrilled that she has found a home with Clare and the S&S team."
Verde, who is studying towards a Prose Fiction MA at the University of East Anglia, was a contributor to Kit de Waal’s Common People anthology of working-class writers. Her inclusion, supported by the National Centre for Writing, also offered mentoring from Yvvette Edwards, author of the Man Booker Prize longlisted novel, A Cupboard Full of Coats.
Commenting on Verde's writing, Edwards said the author "breaks new ground in a confident and original voice, with a sharp eye for detail, wonderful characterisation and some seriously badass humour. I am so thrilled for her and so happy to have been part of her writing journey."
The novel will be released in hardback, e-book and audio in June 2021.