Publisher Karen Sullivan acquired world English language rights from Emily Glenister at DHH Literary Agency. The novel will be published in January 2023.
"I have been dying to work with Karen Sullivan for a long time and when Ronnie sent me So Pretty, it had Orenda’s name all over it, so it made perfect sense that Karen loves it as much as I do," said Glenister. "Ronnie is a fiercely talented writer, whose star is well and truly on the rise. She excels at the weird, wonderful and downright unsettling. Watch this space, publishing!"
The synopsis reads: "Teddy Colne arrives in the small town of Rye, hoping to settle down and leave his past behind him. But fear blisters through the streets, and the locals warn him to avoid a shop known only as Berry & Vincent, where people have been known to come to a bad end. Teddy, however, is desperate to discover why everyone fears the proprietor of this establishment, and takes a job behind its dusty, creepy windows.
"Ada moved to Rye with her young son to escape a damaged childhood and years of never fitting in, but she’s lonely, and ostracised by the community. Ada is ripe for affection and friendship, and everyone knows it.
"As old secrets bleed out into this town, so too will a mystery about a family who vanished 50 years earlier, and a community living on a knife-edge. Teddy looks for answers, thinking he is safe, but some truths are better left undisturbed, and his past will find him here, just as it has always found him before. And before long, it will find Ada too."
"I am beyond excited to share this disturbing, idiosyncratic and wonderfully lyrical novel with readers worldwide," said Sullivan. "As they say, I have ’history’ with Ronnie. I met her when she was just 16, at the Penzance Literary Festival and, even then, saw the huge potential in her writing. When So Pretty was sent in on submission, I read it instantly and remain awed and fully mesmerised by Ronnie’s extraordinary writing and blown away by this original, elegant, quirky and gloriously visceral novel. There is a pervasive, brooding tension that is both unsettling and deeply compelling, and its complex themes continue to provoke thought long after the final page is turned. Ronnie is an Orenda author if ever I saw one, and I am truly thrilled to publish her sublime work. Still in her early 20s and now a Waterstones bookseller, Ronnie is an exciting and original talent, and I have no doubt that readers will be as entranced as we are."
Turner added: "I am super excited to join the Orenda family and work with the mighty Karen Sullivan. She is an utter powerhouse, and I have been in awe of her and all of Orenda for many years. I feel very lucky to have her championing my work, and to have found the perfect home for So Pretty, a novel which looks at identity, obsession and the perilous bonds of family. I know Karen, West Camel, Emily and I will make a great team and I’m so looking forward to this journey together, and to seeing So Pretty in the hands of readers very soon."
From The Bookseller article | Katie Fraser