Weidenfeld & Nicolson has won Digging In, a memoir about grief, exile and the healing power of gardening by Beth Lynch.
Publishing director Jenny Lord, in one of her first acquisitions for Weidenfeld & Nicolson, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to Digging In plus a second book from Jessica Woollard at David Higham Associates.
The book, about healing power of the natural world, tells the story of how "uprooted in middle life" Lynch tried to forge a sense of belonging in the mountains of the Swiss Jura by nurturing a garden.
Lord said the proposal for the provisionally named Digging In was "one of the most moving and exhilarating I have read in a very long time". She added, "Nature writing tends to focus on the wilds that exist beyond our garden fences, but Beth makes the case for bringing our focus closer to home. The idea that gardening can be therapeutic isn’t new, but the way Beth is able to capture our connection to enclosed spaces certainly is".
Lynch, now based in Switzerland, is a qualified garden designer having gardened since a young age where she grew up in rural East Sussex. She said, "While the story that I have to tell is a personal one, I hope that its themes of loss, displacement, and our relationship with the natural world on our doorsteps will resonate with a wide readership in these globalised times. I look forward immensely to collaborating with Jenny and her team at W&N in order to reach those readers."
Digging In will be published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in hardback and e-book in March 2019.