SHELTER, the sparkling debut novel by Sarah Franklin, a two-time judge of the Costa Short Story Award and host of Short Stories Aloud, is to be published in June 2017 by Bonnier Zaffre. Publishing Director Eleanor Dryden snapped up the fantastic first novel, at auction, in a two-book deal.
SHELTER is a unique and engrossing tale of transformed lives in difficult times: it’s 1944, and Connie runs to the Forest of Dean to work as a lumberjill after her family home is blitzed and she must survive alone, hiding a huge secret. She meets Italian P.O.W., Seppe, and Amos, who has never left the forest but is mourning his son who has. These three compelling characters weave a special bond in extraordinary and testing circumstances and create a new family for Connie, but when her secret is revealed she must decide whether to stay or run - and who to leave behind.
Eleanor said: ‘I am so, so thrilled to be publishing Sarah Franklin. I fell for SHELTER completely. Sarah’s characterisation is exquisite, and she delivers delightful and thought-provoking surprises at every turn. I could feel the forest living and breathing around me as I was engrossed in the stories of Connie and Italian POW Seppe. Connie is refreshing, appealing and delightfully flawed – I was rooting for her from the first page and she’s still with me. This is a female story that needs to be told and I remember so clearly how affected I felt when I finished it for the first time and desperately needed to talk to someone about it.’
Juliet Pickering said: ‘Having known Sarah as a wonderful champion of stories over the last few years, I was so happy when she wrote an incredible debut novel! Connie’s voice is bold yet vulnerable; she’s a wonderfully unpredictable character in a rich setting, and the repercussions of her decisions are heart-breaking. Everyone will be talking about SHELTER next summer, and I can’t wait.’
SHELTER will also be available in audio in summer 2017, published by Isis Publishing.
About Sarah Franklin
Sarah Franklin grew up in rural Gloucestershire. She has written for The Guardian, Psychologies magazine, The Pool, the Sunday Express and the Seattle Times. Her creative non-fiction has been published in anthologies in the USA and appeared on radio affiliates there. Sarah is also the founder and host of popular Oxford literary night Short Stories Aloud.
Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahEFranklin