by Melanie Sumner
In the spirit of Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette and Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project comes a hilarious and heartfelt story of an aspiring author trying to rescue her single-mother family by writing the next Great American Novel.
Aristotle “Aris” Thibodeau is 12.5 years old and destined for glory. Unfortunately, after her father’s death, she finds herself plopped down in Kanuga, Georgia, where she has to manage her mother Diane’s floundering love life and dubious commitment to her job as an English professor. Not to mention, co-parenting a little brother who hogs all the therapy money.
Luckily, Aris has a plan. Following the advice laid out Write a Novel in Thirty Days! she sets out to pen a bestseller using her charmingly dysfunctional family as material. If the Mom-character, Diane, would ditch online dating and accept that the perfect man is clearly the handyman/nanny-character, Penn MacGuffin, Aris would have the essential romance for her plot (and a father in her real life). But when a random accident uncovers a dark part of Thibodeau family history, Aris is forced to confront the fact that sometimes in life—as in great literature—things might not work out exactly as planned.
North American publisher: Vintage/Random House, August 2015
Audiobook publisher: Blackstone Audio
Foreign rights sold: Germany (Dumont); Israel (Keter); Italy (Mondadori)
Foreign rights contact: Allison Devereux, Wolf Literary Services
Film/TV rights contact: Allison Devereux, Wolf Literary Services
Sweet, clever, and fun.”—Kirkus Reviews
In the vein of Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project, Sumner’s quirky story about an unconventional family is charming and precocious, like Aris herself.”—Library Journal
I have long been an admirer of Melanie Sumner’s fiction—the fierce wit and sharp intelligence and trained eye when locating the pulse of compassion—and How To Write a Novel, her brilliant new novel, offers all this and more. I love the narrator, Aris Thibodeau, twelve and a half going on eternal, and I love the references to writing—the parallels to real life that lead to those moving moments that cannot be edited. A beautiful and accomplished novel by an extraordinarily gifted talent.”—Jill McCorckle, New York Times bestselling author of Life After Life
If someone were to make a novel out of your no doubt complicated life, you’d definitely want your narrator to be Aristotle Thibodeau, the precociously wise (though never annoying) tell-it-all behind Melanie Sumner’s hilarious and warmhearted novel.”—Will Blythe, editor of Why I Write
[A] tour de force. . . . Sumner brings a knowing, tongue-in-cheek sparkle to discussions of writing workshop chestnuts . . . never losing sight of the humanity of her characters or the unpredictable nature of reality.”—Atlanta Journal-Constitution