Bonnier Zaffre has acquired world rights to an “uplifting” debut set in Crete in WW2, Island of Secrets, by Patricia Wilson.
Eleanor Dryden, publishing director for Zaffre Books, acquired world rights from Tina Betts at Andrew Mann as part of a two-book deal.
Island of Secrets is described as "a dramatic and completely immersive summer read". Greek matriarch, Maria, is dying and must share her personal story before it’s too late. Her story subsequently describes the German occupation of Crete during the Second World War and the lengths to which a mother will go to protect her children.
Dryden said: "Patricia was inspired to write when she dug up a WW2 machine gun in her garden in her villa in Amiras, in Crete. She interviewed the old women of the village who had never before openly spoken of their experiences. It’s such a moving and ultimately uplifting story and I am delighted to be launching Patricia’s debut.”
Wilson said: “It was while planting strawberries in my cottage garden in Amiras, that I unearthed the machine gun, which led to the village men telling me what had happened but it took a while for the women to come forward. I was so moved by their personal experiences I felt I had to tell their stories. I am very excited be published by Bonnier Zaffre.”
Betts says: “Patricia’s storytelling of this dramatic period of Cretan history, and the uniting of three generations of strong women, is brilliantly told.”
Bonnier Zaffre will publish Island of Secrets in February in e-book and May in paperback.