The Waterstones Debut Fiction Prize celebrates exceptional first novels and highlights the importance of discovering and championing new talent. Voted for by booksellers there is no restrictions on genre and is a chance to hear new voices.
In 1914, war feels far away to Henry Gaunt and Sidney Ellwood. They're too young to enlist, and anyway, Gaunt is fighting his own private battle - an all-consuming infatuation with the dreamy, poetic Ellwood - not having a clue that his best friend is in love with him, always has been. When Gaunt's mother asks him to enlist in the British army to protect the family from anti-German attacks, he signs up immediately, relieved to escape his overwhelming feelings. But Ellwood and their classmates soon follow him into the horrors of trenches. Though Ellwood and Gaunt find fleeting moments of solace in one another, their friends are dying in front of them, and at any moment they could be next. An epic tale of the devastating tragedies of war and the forbidden romance that blooms in its grip, In Memoriam is a breathtaking debut.
- Browns Books Synopsis
There’s nothing quite like discovering a new favourite author and witnessing their career blossom. Booksellers have always been avid champions of emerging talent and often help to propel debuts to bestseller status through their passionate recommendation.