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Aug 4, 2023

The Playdate, a "tense psychological drama", is acquired by Sandycove, Penguin

Clara Dillon’s

Publisher Patricia Deevy acquired Ireland, UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Marianne Gunn O’Connor at Marianne Gunn O’Connor Literary Agency. The novel will be published in the UK and Ireland in March 2024.

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The synopsis for The Playdate reads: "When Sara leaves her high-flying London life to move to Dublin, her only concern is her nine-year-old daughter, Lexie. For Lexie’s sake she tries to get to know other mothers at the school gates, but they appear uninterested – particularly their leader, the beautiful and charismatic Vanessa, whose daughter rules the playground."

It continues: "After a simple misunderstanding between Vanessa and Sara, none of the other kids at school want anything to do with Lexie. Desperate to fix things, Sara offers to look after Vanessa’s daughter one afternoon. But when the playdate ends in catastrophe, Vanessa is convinced that what happened wasn’t an accident. With allegations flying in all directions, the question becomes: just how far are these women willing to go to protect their daughters? And who is telling the truth?"

Deevy commented: "Using the familiar backdrop of school-gate politics, Dillon has written a brilliantly observed, emotionally astute and satisfying story of obsession and the dark places it can lead. Readers will be transfixed."

Dillon added: "The idea for The Playdate came to me when I was hosting a play date and the child almost ran in front of a car. When my blood pressure finally settled, I thought, imagine having to explain that to a mum! And the rest of the story practically fell into my head then and there."

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