Simon & Schuster UK is to publish The Cat Share by Angela Jariwala, a feel-good romantic comedy inspired by a true story.
World all-language rights were bought by Alice Rodgers, project editor at S&S, from Abi Fellows of The Good Literary Agency. S&S has reported receiving strong interest internationally, and in film rights.
The Cat Share follows a story of two neighbours who both think a certain tabby cat belongs to them. Described as a "heart-warming and uplifting rom com, perfect for cat lovers and fans of Beth O’Leary and Laura Jane Williams", the novel will be published in paperback, e-book and audio in March 2022.
The synopsis reads: "Sometimes it’s a simple as meeting the boy next door. Jeanie lives alone with her cat Oscar—yes, she’s single, but after breaking up with her fiancé, she’s more than content to be living alone. Sometimes she worries she might be playing things too safe, but she’s had enough of taking risks. Ben is a firefighter and, if he’s honest, he’s finding life hard. The arrival of a small tabby cat, who Ben decides to call Fred, helps him feel less isolated. But then, one day, Fred appears with a note tied to his collar from someone called Jeanie, accusing Ben of stealing her cat!
"As the two near-neighbours start corresponding via the cat, their notes to each other reveal the truths they are hiding from even their closest friends, and themselves."
Rodgers said: "The Cat Share is exactly the novel we all need right now. Warm and joyous, it follows two isolated people who are brought together by their shared love of a cat, exploring themes of friendship and mental wellbeing in a completely uplifting and humorous way. Angela’s writing is beautiful, and perfectly brings these flawed and relatable characters to life."
Jariwala was born in West London to parents from Surat. She is a published author of two young adult novels, both published by Mantra Lingua, a publisher of multicultural and multilingual books for children and young people. She said: "Writing The Cat Share has brought me so much personal joy. In these dark times, it’s great to escape into the simple world of a wandering cat. Jeanie and Ben are everyday people, there’s nothing particularly unusual about them, but thanks to Oscar working his cat magic, he’s united two people that may have never met. I hope readers will love this book as much as I have enjoyed writing it."
Fellows added: "Who can resist an uplifting story of chance meetings and unexpected connections, now more than ever? Angela is such a warm, vibrant writer and I can’t wait for readers to enjoy this story."