Penguin Midwestern sales rep Jason Gobble (who was, incidentally, just named PW's rep of the year) turned out to be the godfather for the purchase by his company of a Pittsburgh lawyer's first novel. The lawyer, Philip Beard, was about to publish his book, Dear Zoe, himself, and already had galleys prepared, when Gobble was shown a copy by a local bookseller and was sufficiently intrigued to send it right away to Viking president Clare Ferraro. She in turn loved the novel and sent Beard to an agent, Jane Dystel—just in time to prevent him from signing a check for the printer. Dystel promptly sent it around and naturally Ferraro took it, for world rights, for publication next year. The book is the story of a woman who loses her young sister to an accident and only begins to recover as she grows close to her shiftless but lovable father.