The First Day of Spring opens with nine-year-old Chrissie describing the delicious fizzy feeling she experienced while strangling a younger boy.
Having a secret like this gives her a sense of power that she doesn’t get to experience at home, where food is scarce and attention scarcer. Twenty years later and living under a new name, ‘Julia’ is terrified that people will discover what she did and take away the only thing that she’s ever had to call her own: her daughter.
Editor Jocasta Hamilton at Hutchinson said:
‘This is an exceptional debut written in mesmerising language that invites us to think about power, the legacy of damage and the possibility of redemption in new ways. Told with such intelligence and emotional clarity, it allows us to feel a surprising empathy for Chrissie. This is a novel that will generate conversation and ignite debate – but more than that, The First Day of Spring marks the arrival of Nancy Tucker as a brilliantly original new voice.’
Hutchinson acquired UK and Commonwealth rights at auction from Hattie Grünewald, and will publish The First Day of Spring in February 2021. US rights were pre-empted within forty-eight hours by Riverhead at Penguin Random House US, Brazilian rights were pre-empted by Verus Editora and French rights were sold to Les Escales.
Nancy Tucker said:
‘I loved writing The First Day of Spring, and have been overwhelmed by the response it has received. It is a privilege to be working with Jocasta in the UK and Sarah in the US, both of whom have engaged with the book’s themes so sensitively. I can’t wait to share these characters and their story with readers.’