PRH acquires sequel to ‘The Woolgrower’s Companion’
Penguin Random House Australia (PRH) has acquired Oceania rights to a sequel to Joy Rhoades’ The Woolgrower’s Companion (Bantam), in a deal brokered by Stephanie Koven from Cullen Stanley International in the US.
Set in postwar Australia, the as-yet-untitled novel follows the life of Kate Dowd, who was only raised to be ‘decorative woman’, but must take charge of a large sheep station left to her by her father. ‘Kate’s estranged husband and the district have ostracised her because she has embraced an Aboriginal baby, the offspring of her father. When a catastrophic fire breaks out in the area, and three lives are lost, Kate’s very freedom is under threat as she is accused of the manslaughter,’ writes the publisher.
The Woolgrower’s Companion was in the top five Australian general and literary fiction debuts for 2017 on BookScan, and has recently been shortlisted for the McKitterick Prize in the UK.
PRH publisher Beverley Cousins said Rhoades’s ‘meticulous research, evocative descriptions and irresistible characters’ are what made the debut a bestseller. ‘I’m thrilled to have acquired its exciting sequel, which takes place three years later. I can’t wait to dive back into Kate’s world once again,’ said Cousins.
The novel is due to be published in 2019 in print and ebook formats, and as an audiobook produced by an in-house team.