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Sarah Franklin’s debut novel SHELTER is out in paperback today from Bonnier Zaffre. Since its initial hardback publication in July 2017 the powerful romance, set in the heart of World War II, has garnered much praise. Writing for Red Online, Sara Manning called it ‘a wonderful, affecting debut novel about the redemptive power of nature.’

Early spring 1944. Connie Granger has escaped her bombed-out city home, finding refuge in the Women's Timber Corps. For her, this remote community must now serve a secret purpose. Seppe, an Italian prisoner of war, is haunted by his memories. In the forest camp, he finds a strange kind of freedom. Their meeting signals new beginnings. But as they are drawn together, the world outside their forest haven is being torn apart. Old certainties are crumbling, and both must now make a life-defining choice. What price will they pay for freedom? What will they fight to protect?

Sarah Franklin grew up in rural Gloucestershire and now lives with her family between Oxford and London. 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.

Follow Sarah on Twitter.

Praise for SHELTER:

‘An absorbing debut novel’ — The People’s Friend, 5* review

‘SHELTER is an atmospheric debut and a fascinating glimpse into a forgotten aspect of WWII’ — Good Housekeeping

‘Life affirming and compelling; SHELTER is a must-read, and Sarah Franklin a breath of fresh air’ — Clare Mackintosh, author of I LET YOU GO

‘Beautiful’ — Adele Parks

‘Its characters pulse with life and energy — Connie’s snippy, contrary longings and Seppe’s difficult journey to inner peace are vividly rendered, as is the evocation of the forest and its healing qualities.’ — Elizabeth Buchan, The Daily Mail

Sarah Franklin’s stunning debut SHELTER to be published by Bonnier Zaffre

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