Weidenfeld & Nicolson has acquired a Christmas-themed novel by Sunday Times bestselling author Laura Barnett, titled Gifts.
Federico Andornino, publishing director at Weidenfeld & Nicolson, signed UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, in a deal struck with Judith Murray at Greene & Heaton.
Gifts is structured around a group of characters looking for the perfect Christmas present. Bookseller Maddy is struggling to choose a gift for her old school friend Peter, who has just moved back from London following a messy divorce. Meanwhile, Peter does not know what to get for his teenage daughter Chloe, who is furious with her mother and has decided to move to Kent with him. Chloe wants to buy something special for her grandmother Irene, who lives alone on the other side of town, and Irene would really like to find the right gift for her carer Alina.
Andornino said: "Have we ever needed a Christmas novel about the power of community more? In her new novel, Laura Barnett movingly explores the real meaning of the ‘gifting season’: this is not a book about consumerism or panicked shopping, but about finding gifts to inspire, to express gratitude, to heal. After our lockdown Christmas of 2020 I think we all need a book like this in our lives."
Barnett added: "I’ve always adored fiction set around Christmas, but have come across very few novels that attempt to grapple with the season as we actually live it, in all its messy, complex, joyous reality. This is what I’m aiming to do with this novel. Having gone through the various lockdowns with a newborn baby – now toddler – I’m beyond thrilled to be back with this new novel, and with the wonderful Weidenfeld & Nicolson."
Laura Barnett is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling novels The Versions of Us and Greatest Hits. As a freelance arts journalist, features writer and theatre critic, she has worked for the Guardian, the Observer and the Daily Telegraph, among others.
Weidenfeld & Nicolson will publish Gifts in hardback, e-book and audio digital download on 11th November 2021.