Following a competitive auction, rights were snapped up by Senior Editor Sarah Bauer at Zaffre for publication as a lead title in Autumn 2021.
A thrilled Bauer said: “I am delighted to be publishing this beautiful novel which not only has such a great message but is also filled with a cast of brilliant characters that you can’t help but fall in love with. I know Freya has a bright publishing career ahead of her and I am so pleased to be a part of it.”
An equally thrilled Freya said: “I’m absolutely delighted that The Last Library has found such an amazing home at Bonnier. I was blown away by Sarah and the team’s passion for the book, and I’m so excited to work with them and everyone at Berkley to bring June and Chalcot Library to readers.”
The novel follows reclusive June Jones…
June Jones lives in Chalcot, the sleepy village she’s never left. Her childhood was spent with her head buried in a book alongside her mum, Chalcot’s beloved local librarian and June’s best friend.
When her mother became ill, June put her own life on hold to care for her. Now, years since her mum’s death, June has retreated into herself and her memories; working in the same library, surviving on Chinese takeaways for one and rereading her favourite books alone at home.
When the council announces plans to close the library, June’s whole world is threatened. A ragtag group of eccentric library patrons set up the Friends of Chalcot Library to campaign for it, but June’s employers ban her from joining. Instead, she must find a way to fight for the library in secret. The only person she can confide in is Alex, an old classmate who is back in Chalcot for a few months.
June can’t risk losing her job and the place that holds the dearest memories of her mum, so it’s time for her to finally step out from behind the shelves and take ownership of her life. Because maybe, in fighting to save the library for her community, the community, and Alex, can save June, too.
Freya Sampson has spent fifteen years working in TV, and was the creator and executive producer of Channel 4’s Four in a Bed and Gogglesprogs. She read History at Cambridge University.
In 2018, she was shortlisted for the Exeter Prize and is a graduate of the Faber Academy. She lives in London with her husband, two young children and an antisocial cat.
US rights have been sold at auction in a major deal to Berkley / Penguin Random House, as well as five international territories to date (Arabic to Dar Altanweer, German to DuMont, Hebrew to Tchelet, Hungarian to General Press and Italian to Mondadori).