Little Pieces of Sophie (78,000 words)
Set in England, New Zealand and Bangladesh, Little Pieces of Sophie is about a young man’s struggle with passion and obsession for his childhood friend and their commitment to make the world a better place.
The story begins in Lancashire in 1989 when Jack and Sophie are twelve years old. They are both an only child and have been close friends since starting primary school. Jack contracted leukaemia when he was eight. After many failures to find a donor, he was incredibly lucky when Sophie’s bone marrow was found to be a suitable match, resulting in a complete remission. When Sophie, who is part Māori, tells him about her experiences of racism at their school they become even closer. This ends abruptly when Sophie and her mother move back to New Zealand. Jack and Sophie keep in touch but suddenly after a year he stops hearing from her.
Fourteen years later Jack, who still has feelings for Sophie, discovers where she works and realises he has to see her. After arriving in New Zealand, he develops a plan to be discovered by Sophie. It works, and as he gets to know Sophie again, she introduces him to her employer and owner of Melay cosmetics. Jack is offered work and, once he has settled into his job, they are asked to visit their subsidiary company in Bangladesh for two weeks. In Dhaka they discover Melay’s unethical promotion of toxic skin lightening products and infant formula. As they commit to do something about it, they realise they love one another.
However, Sophie discovers Jack’s scheme that got them together and is devastated. Their relationship is jeopardised even further when Jack insists on an unscrupulous plan to stop their boss. Jack will have to change his ways and be prepared to take risks with the one he loves. And Sophie will have to decide if the end justifies the means in stopping their boss.