Transworld has acquired an "atmospheric" debut novel set on the Essex marshes during World War 2 and in the present day.
Commissioning editor Suzanne Bridson acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in The Call of the Curlew by Elizabeth Brooks in a two-book deal, from Joanna Swainson at Hardman & Swainson, characterised the novel as slightly gothic, full of "unpredictable and heartbreaking" twists.
The novel tells the story of Virginia Wrathmell, who in 1939 is an orphan arriving to meet her new adoptive parents at their mysterious house, Salt Winds, which sits on the edge of a vast, beautiful and dangerous marsh. When a German fighter pilot is shot down over the marsh, Virginia’s new father sets out onto the deadly sands to rescue him, and Virginia makes a mistake that will affect the whole course of her life. 75 years later, the secret of what happened at Salt Winds comes back to haunt her.
Bridson said: "This is a gorgeously written novel, full of a richness that brings both time and place irresistibly to life and had me totally immersed in Virginia’s world. There is a touch of the gothic about it, which I absolutely love, and the twists in Virginia’s story are both unpredictable and heartbreaking. I’m so excited to welcome Elizabeth to the Doubleday list."
Transworld will publish in Doubleday hardback in June 2018. Translation rights will be handled by Thérèse Coen at Hardman & Swainson.