Polygon editor Edward Crossan has acquired World English Language rights for Russell Jones’ Bucket List, in a deal brokered by Caro Clarke at Portobello Literary.
Bucket List by Russell Jones is a feel-good, life-affirming story about the power of friendship, community and lemon drizzle cake. On the face of it, Dot and Max don’t seem to have much in common. She’s a cantankerous pensioner who lives her days alone. He’s a young offender doing community service, trying to get his anger issues under control. A chance meeting in their local park will change everything for this unlikely pair. They soon find they share a wicked sense of humour, a passion for superheroes and a penchant for petty crime.
When Dot wins the lottery, Max helps her make a bucket list of all the things she’s always wanted to do but never had the chance. And Dot helps him turn his life around, opening his eyes to his own potential. From race cars and fun fairs to zombie films and random acts of kindness, the pair soon realise they’ve never been happier. Dot’s astonished to find that her actions cause a ripple effect through her community – proving that it’s not money that makes a difference, but people working together to make a change. Bucket List will be published in 2024.
Author Russell Jones says, ‘With so many challenges at the moment, I wanted to write a novel that reminded me and my readers of the positives in life. I believe that it’s not always the “big things” that mean the most to us, but often it’s the small connections we make that really set our lives on a new trajectory. And I wanted to laugh! So, Bucket List was born! I’m so excited for Dot and Max to be out in the world, to share some of their lows, highs and laughter as they become unlikely friends whilst attempting to complete Dot’s bucket list together. As an Edinburgh-based publisher, I can think of no one better than Polygon to present this Edinburgh-based tale of friendship and community.’
Agent Caro Clarke added, ‘Dot and Max are a true delight, and this story is as heart-warming and hilarious as they come. Bucket List feels especially resonant after the pandemic has shown us the vital importance of a supportive community. We’re so thrilled to be working with Polygon to bring this joyful book to life!’
‘Russell Jones’s Bucket List is the feel-good novel of the year,’ says editor Edward Crossan. ‘It’s a hilarious page-turner that’s like a warm hug. Russell’s writing is charming, and he’s developed characters that are both memorable and loveable. I can’t wait to get this book into the hands of readers. And I can’t wait to read more from this author.’
Bucket List is a joyful, deeply moving read which feels even more significant after successive pandemic lockdowns have highlighted the value of supportive relationships and a strong community.