Trapeze has acquired David Barnett’s The Lonely Hearts Cinema Club, a novel about loneliness and an unlikely friendship between young and old.
Sam Eades, editorial director at Trapeze, acquired world rights (all languages) to the book in a deal struck by John Jarrold Literary Agency, to publish in March 2018 in export trade paperback, e-book and audio with the mass market paperback following on in summer 2018.
The book has been pitched as "'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' meets 'Fresh Meat' meets Farewell, My Lovely", pursuing an answer to the question 'what would happen if a nursing home took in students to offer cheaper accommodation?'. At the centre of the plot is Jenny Ebert, a young woman with a troubled past who is hoping to reinvent herself at a new university, who is able to form a bond with her senior citizen housemates over old noir films.
According to Barnett's agent, the characters are "wonderfully real and flawed" and the book full of "wit, immediacy and warmth". It follows Barnett's most recent novel, Calling Major Tom, which was one of the first books on Orion's new imprint Trapeze last year.
Eades, editor said: "The Lonely Hearts Cinema Club is a novel about loneliness, something that many of us will experience at some point in our lives. With his trademark warmth and humour, David explores an unlikely friendship across the generations that will tug on the heartstrings but most importantly leave the reader with hope. Publishing Calling Major Tom has been an absolute joy with rights sold around the world, and I’m so pleased to be working with David again."
Barnett added: "The Lonely Hearts Cinema Club, just like Calling Major Tom, was sparked by a real news item; what if a nursing home took in students to offer cheaper accommodation but also encourage some inter-generational activity between young and old? We follow Jenny Ebert, a young woman with a troubled past who is hoping to reinvent herself at a new university. As the Baby Boomers and the Millennials cross swords and struggle to find common ground in the remote, coastal Sunset Promenade, everyone begins to learn that what divides us can sometimes bring us together. But as Jenny and the older residents start to bond over a shared love of old film noir movies, secrets, lies and the very real threat of a crime-wave sweeping Sunset Promenade jeopardises the fragile peace… and heralds even darker and more serious consequences. Think 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' meets 'Fresh Meat' meets Farewell, My Lovely, and you’re halfway to The Lonely Hearts Cinema Club."
Barnett, an author and journalist based in West Yorkshire, is also the author of the Gideon Smith series of Victorian fantasies, published by Tor Books.