Zaffre is publishing Caroline Day's debut novel, Hope Nicely’s Lessons for Life, next spring.
The book, written from the perspective of a 25-year-old woman who has Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), was acquired in a two-book deal for world rights by Sarah Bauer, senior editor at Zaffre, through literary agent Sarah Lutyens at The Lutyens & Rubinstein literary agency.
Day's debut is described as "a heart-warming coming-of-age novel about loneliness, friendship, acceptance and, above all, hope". The plot follows narrator Hope Nicely as she joins a writing group to help her finish her autobiography, which she is writing in a bid to find her birth mother. It will be Zaffre’s lead debut fiction, published in hardback, for spring 2021.
Day said: "Hope Nicely started life as a ‘National Novel Writing Month’ exercise and I hadn’t thought it through much beyond the challenge of writing 50,000 words in a month. But within a few pages, I realised that I cared so deeply about my protagonist that I had to complete her story. I was thrilled when my amazing agent, Sarah Lutyens, fell in love with Hope Nicely too, and my sense of finding the perfect fit was complete when I met Sarah Bauer and the superb team that make up Bonnier Books UK. I feel so excited and so unspeakably lucky to have them publishing my novel."
Bauer, senior editor at Zaffre, commented: "As soon as I started reading this novel, I knew it was special. Hope Nicely is one of those characters who really stay with you and I can’t wait to introduce her to readers – I know they’ll love her too. Caroline is a true talent – I still can’t believe this is her first novel – and I am thrilled to be working with her."
Lutyens added: "I am so delighted that Hope Nicely’s Lessons for Life, a book very close to the hearts of everyone here at Lutyens & Rubinstein, will be published next year with such passion by Sarah and the team at Zaffre. In a confusing and often unkind world we all have a lot to learn from Hope Nicely."