Colette Dartford


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Agent: Robert Kirby
Associate Agent: Kate Walsh


Colette Dartford, a Londoner by birth, studied Sociology & Politics at the University of Bath, graduating with First-Class Honours. Her Master's degree in Research Methods was awarded with Distinction and she received an Economic & Social Research Council scholarship to undertake a Doctorate in Political Science. Her thesis, 'New Labour, New Language: Ideas, Discourse and Policy', was published in 2001. 

In 2006 Colette moved to the Napa Valley in northern California, where she studied Viticulture and Enology and indulged her passion for creative writing. During this time she wrote her debut novel, LEARNING TO SPEAK AMERICAN, which was shortlisted for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

Colette relocated back to the UK in 2012 and signed a two-book deal with Bonnier Publishing. LEARNING TO SPEAK AMERICAN was published in late 2015, followed by AN UNSUITABLE MARRIAGE in 2017, which was a Kindle bestseller for over eighteen months.


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?