We’re so excited that Helly Acton’s debut novel, The Shelf, is published in hardback today by Bonnier Zaffre.

The novel was catapulted into the spotlight last month when it was announced that Daisy Edgar-Jones, star of the acclaimed adaptation of Normal People, is the narrative voice for the audio book. Daisy said of the novel: ‘The Shelf is fun, thought-provoking and unapologetically feminist, shining a light on the pressures felt by so many women. I had such a great time narrating Helly’s novel and bringing her wonderful collection of characters to life. It really is the perfect antidote to lockdown life.’

The Shelf was featured by Grazia as one of summer’s “Biggest Audio Books“, has been picked for the BBC Radio 2 BookClub and has received glowing reviews ahead of publication by the likes of Carrie Hope Fletcher, Marian Keyes, Katie Fforde and Lindsey Kelk.

The novel follows Amy…

Everyone in Amy’s life seems to be getting married (or so Instagram tells her), and she feels like she’s falling behind.

So, when her boyfriend surprises her with a dream holiday to a mystery destination, she thinks this is it – he’s going to finally pop the Big Question. But the dream turns into a nightmare when she finds herself on the set of a Big Brother-style reality television show, The Shelf.

Along with five other women, Amy is dumped live on TV and must compete in a series of humiliating and obnoxious tasks in the hope of being crowned ‘The Keeper’.

Will Amy’s time on the show make her realise there are worse things in life than being left on the shelf?

A funny, feminist and all-too-relatable novel about our obsession with coupling up, settling down and the battle we all have with accepting ourselves, The Shelfintroduces the freshest new voice in women’s fiction.

Helly Acton is a copywriter from London. She studied Law at King’s College London before going into advertising. In her twenties, Helly escaped the rat race and took a career break. After a life-affirming break-up she returned home to find herself the last of her single friends. Helly threw herself into online dating and uses her experience as a single woman in her thirties as inspiration for her stories.