Colette Dartford


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Agent: Robert Kirby
Assistant: Kate Walsh


Colette Dartford, a londoner by birth, studied Sociology at the University of Bath, graduating with first-class honours. She went on to study for a Master's degree in Research Methods and was awarded an Economic & Social Research Council scholarship to undertake a Doctorate in Political Science. As part of her doctoral research she spent a year in Westminster interviewing politicians, think-tank personnel and journalists and her thesis, 'New Labour, New Language: Ideas, Discourse and Policy', was published in 2001. 

In 2006 she was offered the opportunity to move to Napa Valley in northern California, where she studied Viticulture and Enology course at University of California at Davis, and indulged her passion for creative writing. It was while she was in Napa that she began to write her debut novel, LEARNING TO SPEAK AMERICAN. 

In 2011 she moved back to the UK and has signed a two book deal with Bonnier Publishing. Her first novel LEARNING TO SPEAK AMERICAN will be published on 5 November 2015.


Publication DetailsNotes

Bonnier Publishing

Olivia always thought she had the perfect family life. A loving husband in Geoffrey, a thoughtful and intelligent son in Edward and a beautiful home in the Somerset countryside.

But all that changed when Geoffrey's business went under. Now penniless and homeless, Geoffrey is living with his recently widowed mother, whilst Olivia has been forced to take a job as housemistress at her son's elite boarding school.

Soon the cracks in the relationship start to show. And, increasingly desperate, Geoffrey makes a mistake. One that could have consequences for the whole family . . .


Bonnier Publishing

A marriage tested to breaking point by grief and guilt—can it survive?

Having suffered in silence since the tragic death of their young daughter, Lola and Duncan Drummond’s last chance to rediscover their love for one another lies in an anniversary trip to California’s idyllic Napa Valley.

Unable to talk about what happened, Duncan reaches out to his wife the only way he knows how – he buys her a derelict house, hoping its restoration might restore her happiness and their marriage.

As Lola works on the house she experiences the liberating power of letting go. But just as her life begins to open up, Duncan’s begins to fall apart.

Can a parent ever truly move on from the loss of a child? And, after so much heartbreak, can Lola and Duncan learn to love again?