Rights Available! Twin Assumes the Life of Her Deceased Sister in New Novel

Helen Simonson's 'The Summer Before the War,' along with Chloe J. Esposito's 'Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know,' are both ripe for optioning.
Courtesy of Random House
'The Summer Before the War'

This story first appeared in the April 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Though publishing rights will be auctioned in the coming days, Hollywood book scouts already are getting hot and bothered by Brit writer Chloe J. Esposito's novel Mad, the first book in the Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know trilogy. With a throwback plotline that could be ripped from a Sidney Sheldon paperback, Mad is said to offer plenty of EL James-style sex appeal, too. Mad is just one of two buzzy properties whose screen rights are up for grabs this week.

The Summer Before the War (Random House) by Helen Simonson
Agency: UTA

The follow-up to Simonson's hit debut Major Pettigrew's Last Stand opened as a New York Times best-seller and was a LibraryReads pick for March. Populated with quirky, sharply drawn characters, Summer follows the new Latin teacher in a rural village who upsets residents with her modern thinking.

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know by Chloe J. Esposito
Agency: WME

This hot manuscript, which has its eyes on the Fifty Shades of Grey and The Girl on the Train audience, centers on a twin who assumes the life of her deceased sister, finally becoming the smart, rich, married-with-child one.