We are delighted to welcome, editor extraordinaire, as she shares the excitement of discovering and buying emotive debut, Amity and Sorrow.
In the wake of a suspicious fire, Amaranth gathers her children and flees from the fundamentalist cult in which her children were born and raised. Now she is on the run with only her barely aged teenage daughters, Amity and Sorrow, neither of whom have seen the outside world, to help her. After four days of driving Amaranth crashes the car, leaving the family stranded at a gas station, hungry and terrified.
Rescue comes in the unlikely form of a downtrodden farmer, a man who offers sanctuary when the women need it most. However while Amity blossoms in this new world, free from her father’s tyranny, Sorrow will do anything to get back home. Although Amaranth herself is beginning to understand the nature of the man she has left, she needs the answer to one question; what happened to the other wives and children.
Publishers are sent an awful lot of manuscripts. Many are terrible, some are fine, a few are interesting and fewer still are absolute knock-outs. And, although we’re not supposed to have favourites, if one actually manages to buy one of these knock-outs, particularly if it was in a tricky auction, one tends to feel a certain amount of passion; ferocity, even. You know those rare glorious moments when you discover something – a book, a film, a restaurant – so fantastic that you find yourself virtually mugging your friends and relations to GO AND TRY IT! YOU’LL LOVE IT! NOW! Well, that’s us, every day, when it comes to Amity & Sorrow.
The morning after we all first read it, I had a queue of colleagues wanting to emote about their love for it, to be counselled about the final traumatic scenes and to beg, no, command me to buy the mysterious Peggy Riley’s debut if I could. What choice did I have? I offered; so did other publishers. It turned into an auction. But so great was my love for the novel, so determined were we all to win it, that I started harassing the US rights director until, poor lamb, she reached the point where she had to surrender.
That in itself is rare. Rarer still – unique, for me – was the experience I had some months later, when I was rereading Amity and briefly forgot that I was merely looking for a particular passage; I found myself loving the characters and the writing as if for the first time, envying the publishers of this incredible novel – and then I remembered that we are the publishers.
Try it. You’ll love it. NOW.
Post by Charlotte Mendelson
Executive Editor, Headline Review
Thanks to Headline Publishing we have one signed hardback copy of Amity and Sorrow and one #GodSexFarming badge to giveaway to one lucky INTERNATIONAL reader. Simply complete the Rafflecopter form below to enter.
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