The sensational Helly Acton, the author behind The Shelf and The Couple will return with a new book this summer.

Described as The Good Place meets Sliding Doors , Begin Again is an uplifting novel about life’s what if’s, missed chances and new beginnings. It follows protagonist Frankie McKenzie as she is given the opportunity to revisit key moments from her past to see if different choices will lead her away from a freak kebab-related accident after yet another dud of a first date.  

Begin Again is Helly’s third book with Bonnier Books’ Zaffre imprint and excitingly her first novel to publish with William Morrow in the US who acquired the rights in an exciting pre-empt. The UK edition will publish in July 2023 with the US edition set to follow in 2024.

Helly Acton said, ‘I’m so excited for readers to meet Frankie in all her forms. I hope her story resonates with anyone who feels restless, doubts their decisions, and wonders what if. Writing Begin Again was such a joy, and if it can help at least one reader feel more confident about the life choices they’ve made, I’d be thrilled.’ 

Sarah Bauer, editorial director at Zaffre, said: ‘Helly has the unique talent for tapping into thoughts we all have, but think we’re alone in, and writing about them in a hilarious yet poignant way. Who hasn’t wondered what if? after a big – or small – life decision? Begin Again reminds us that perhaps the grass isn’t always greener, and – like all of Helly’s writing – makes us question the status quo. I know readers are going to love this book.’ 

Hayley Steed, literary agent at the Madeleine Milburn Agency added: ‘Helly is always bursting with fascinating and captivating concepts, and I can’t wait for readers to read her latest in Begin Again. It’s a beautiful novel about second chances, and the paths we didn’t take, and with her signature social commentary, intelligent wit, and warm characterisation, I know it’ll resonate with readers everywhere.’ 

Congratulations, Helly!