The A-Z of Everything

Debbie Johnson

Book Cover

GENRE

DRAMA COMEDY FAMILY

    Core Theme

    UNCONDITIONAL FAMILY LOVE, FORGIVENESS, SAYING GOODBYE TO LOVED ONES

    TIME PERIOD

    Contemporary

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE, PS I LOVE YOU, THIS IS US

    CHARACTER LIST

    • ROSE: 42. LEAD. BLAMES HER SISTER FOR HER LIFE'S TROUBLES BECAUSE IT'S EASIER THAN BLAMING HERSELF.

    • POPPY: 40. LEAD. A SECRET FROM THE PAST WON’T ALLOW HER TO GROW.

    • ANDREA: 65. THE MOTHER. SHE DIES AND LEAVES THEIR DAUGHTERS WITH LETTERS THAT GO FROM A TO Z.

    Logline

    A dying mother leaves one very special, life-changing last gift in an attempt to reunite her estranged daughters.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 35-54

    Target Gender: Female leaning

    Setting

    Rural England, Paris, London

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: with a Publisher

    Publisher: harpercollins

    Year Published: 2017

    Starting Description

    Poppy and Rose, two long-estranged sisters, are forced back together when their mother dies, only to find that she has left behind a magical trove of memories, photos, secrets and treasures to help them understand the past and heal the future. Will the A-Z of Everything work its magic?

    Ending Description

    The sisters are guided on an emotional and physical journey by their beloved mom, taking in P for Paris, J for Jealousy, and most importantly F for Forgiveness. Discovering truths, facing buried family secrets, the A-Z allows them to learn, love and laugh their way back into each others’ lives.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

    Information not completed

    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

    Philosophical Questions, Meaningful Message, Happy Ending

    Plot - Premise

    Internal Journey/Rebirth

    Main Character Details

    Name: Rose

    Age: 42

    Gender: Female

    Role: Emotional

    Key Traits: Sarcastic, Blunt, Empathetic, Engaging, Funny, Insecure

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Poppy

    Age: 40

    Gender: Female

    Role: Antagonist

    Key Traits: Confident, Decisive, Adventurous, Aggressive, Badass, Lone Wolf, Beautiful, Blunt, Funny

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Andrea

    Age: 65

    Gender: Female

    Role: Mentor

    Key Traits: Honorable, Selfless, Beautiful, Charming, Empathetic, Engaging, Funny, Gracious, Adventurous, Badass, Confident, Complex, Faithful

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Development Pitch

    Brief

    Two sisters, Rose and Poppy, used to be best friends, but now resent one another. Their mother, Andrea, decides to reunite them: on her deathbed, she records videos detailing a series of instructions, each one of them based on a word starting with a letter of the alphabet. Discovering truths, facing buried family secrets, the A-Z allows the sisters to learn, love, and laugh their way back into each other's lives.

    What We Liked

    - A real tearjerker from the outset, with a heartwarming ending.
    - Authentic and warm characterization - the sisters are believable and relatable as they struggle with life and with one another. The story is told from their alternating points of view.
    - Neatly structured with 26 letters of the alphabet, which could be used for individual scenes or episodes.
    - Uses physical as well as emotional challenges - P for Paris, J for Jealousy, F for Forgiveness, and so on. Each letter forces the sisters to face something unresolved. Like a scavenger hunt through grief.
    - Good comedic relief, even in the face of high drama.

    Synopsis

    ROSE gave up a promising medical career to raise her son after her husband left her. Now, Rose is a shell of her former self; she eats her feelings, and is unable to keep a clean home. Even worse, she has a tense relationship with her mother, ANDREA, and has completely cut off her sister, POPPY, who used to be her best friend.

    Poppy is no happier than Rose — she fills her time with meaningless sex, drinking and partying with her younger coworkers. When their mother dies, it becomes clear she had a plan to reunite them. On her deathbed, she designed a series of tasks, recorded videos and cassette tapes with instructions, and left a box with instructions - one for each letter of the alphabet.

    The sisters meet at their mother’s old cottage, where they grew up, to embark on the journey together. They start with A is for Ashes, as they scatter their mother’s ashes in her favorite place. As the girls proceed through the A to Z, they start to realize how much they have missed each other.

    The story of their relationship is shown in flashbacks: Poppy defends Rose from a school bully, Rose dances with Poppy at her last school dance. It is eventually revealed that Rose walked in on Poppy and Rose’s then-boyfriend sleeping together at a New Year’s Eve party. We learn that Rose forgave him, went on to marry him, but never heard Poppy’s side of the story - that she was effectively date-raped that night. Furthermore, he was emotionally abusive to Rose, and cheated on her multiple times before leaving.

    Among the drama, there are moments of joy - the sisters do a karaoke night and sing songs from Grease together, as they used to do when they were little. At the end of the list Poppy quits her job and lives in the old cottage, and Rose strikes up a relationship with her handsome neighbor. They are now a family who celebrate birthdays and holidays together, honoring their mother.

    About The Author

    Debbie Johnson is an award-winning author who lives and works in Liverpool, where she divides her time between writing, caring for a small tribe of children and animals, and not doing the housework. She has written several bestselling books for HarperCollins.