Read the first ten chapters of Ordinary Devotion (draft v 29 July 2018)
Are you able to offer a blurb about the excerpt I can share with my agent?
What is Ordinary Devotion?
How will Olivia and her 10-year-old daughter Emily find rooms of their own, while transiting between borrowed homes?
Ordinary Devotion is a full-blooded, full-length, fold-back-the-cover, take-to-the-beach contemporary novel about mothering, love and loss set in London and across America. At the very same time, in one family, two marriages are ending: one in death, the other in divorce. This collision means Olivia no longer knows where she belongs, or how to get there.
Unlike novels and memoirs focusing on pregnancy and the early years, this novel zeroes in on what it's like to parent a school age child before adolescence, and also what it is to be mothered as an adult.
Borrowing from Virginia Woolf, D.W. Winnicott, A.M. Homes, Maggie Nelson, Alison Bechdel, Edwidge Danicat, and others, Ordinary Devotion adds to the "countercannon" Lauren Elkin describes in a Paris Review essay this summer "Why All the Books About Motherhood?"
The countercannon includes my favourites Megan Hunter’s The End We Start From (2017), Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts (2015), Jenny Offill’s Dept. of Speculation (2014). To that countercannon, I add Amanda Palmer's The Art of Asking (2014).
Fans of Gilmore Girls and The Marvellous Mrs Maisel, or Alison Bechdel's graphic memoirs Fun Home (also a Tony-award winning musical) and Are You My Mother? will relish Ordinary Devotion.
Viewers intrigued but overwhelmed by the American family in Transparent may appreciate the Calders, the Wildes and the people they love or marry.
The novel is the middle novel of a trilogy that stretches back to the mid 1950s and forward into the white heat of the BrexiTrump years.
What's my intention?
As a bi-national I intend to sell the UK and North American rights to a large-scale commercial publisher that excels in upmarket commercial fiction.
I also intend that book rights in all other markets sell, and that a canny decision is taken as to where screen rights are (first) sold.