As reported in The Bookseller this morning, Abbie Greaves‘ moving debut novel The Silent Treatment has been bought by Century (Penguin Random House) following a highly competitive six-way auction.

Deputy Publisher Emily Griffin acquired UK & Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) for two books. US rights were won at auction by Emily Krump at William Morrow.

As the publishers of some of the biggest fiction brands in the business, including Sebastian Faulks and Robert Harris, Century’s ambition is to make The Silent Treatment the standout book of the year.

The Silent Treatment is a story of lies, loss and love. It explores universal themes of motherhood and fatherhood and how love underpins everything.

Frank hasn’t spoken to his wife Margot for the last six months of their married life. Not one, solitary sentence, not one single word. For six, silent months they have lived under the same roof, slept in the same bed, and eaten every meal together in an increasingly uncomfortable quiet. To all intents and purposes, their marriage continues as lovingly as it ever did – only it is playing out in mute.

When Margot attempts to take her own life and is placed in a medically induced coma, Frank is driven to find the words to explain his withdrawal before it’s too late.

Emily Griffin said:

“The immediacy and pull of Abbie’s narrative voice drew me instantly into the world of this novel and I couldn’t turn the pages quickly enough. The Silent Treatment  explores themes which feel urgent and immediate for us today – from loneliness and ageing to mental health and consent – and its celebration of the redemptive power of relationships is sure to resonate with a wide audience of readers.”

Abbie Greaves said of the deal: “I have been overwhelmed by the response to The Silent Treatment and am thrilled to have found such a brilliant home with Emily at Century and Arrow. Their passion and ambition blew me away from the off and I cannot wait to start working with the whole team there.

Following its UK and US success, other territories swiftly followed suit, with Italian rights going to Garzanti, German rights to Fischer with a six-figure bid, Portuguese rights (excluding Brazil) sold to Grupo Planeta, Lithuanian rights to Baltos Lankos, and Serbian rights to Vulkan.

The Silent Treatment will be published in Century hardback in February 2020, and in Arrow paperback in June 2020.