Evie is cut off from everything she loves when her father’s job transfer drops her in Iceland for the summer. Angry with him for upending her life, and desperate for a connection to home, she takes her canvas and paintbrushes into the picturesque cherry orchard behind her guesthouse. As she stains her lips with stolen cherries in the midnight sun, her muse takes over, and she paints a boy she’s never met.
Oskar is startled to discover Evie in his family's orchard, and even more surprised to see himself on her canvas. He's too ashamed to reveal his stutter, so he allows her to believe he doesn’t speak English. When Evie returns day after day to paint, spilling confessions about her family she wouldn’t even tell her priest, Oskar remains silent. At first, he’s content to be near the charming girl who looks at him without pity. But what begins as an innocent escape from loneliness becomes a mutual passion when he realizes her paintings are messages from the orchard itself, evoking images of the family he lost—to an accident he believes was his fault.
As Evie’s life back home unravels, she leans on Oskar, grateful he listens, regardless of his understanding. As the summer comes to an end, Oskar realizes he must confess the truth, even though he risks losing Evie’s trust and the last connection to his family. If Evie can’t forgive him for lying, he may never forgive himself for surviving.
From Owl Hollow Press
Hannah Smith at Owl Hollow Press has acquired world English rights to All the Lonely People by Jen Marie Hawkins (The Language of Cherries), a YA magic-infused love-letter to the Beatles. When 17-year-old Jo Bryant has the chance to go overseas for the summer, she leaps at the chance to delve into her father's mysterious death in London, where he was the lead singer of an internationally acclaimed Beatles cover band. Henry, a broody Beatles-hating photographer, who's an intriguing mix of quantum physics and pseudoscience, has dark secrets of his own, and together, the truths they unravel could destroy who they thought their parents were, and what they've grown to mean to each other. Publication is set for fall 2021; Hilary Harwell at KT Literary brokered the deal.