A WORLD in which a lottery system dictates whether young women will bear children is the disturbing backdrop for the latest novel by former Pembrokeshire author Sophie Mackintosh.

Sophie's debut novel The Water Cure, released in May, was a 'gripping, sinister fable' which earned her a spot on the Man Booker Prize longlist.

Her new book, Blue Ticket, has just been purchased by publishing house Hamish Hamilton, and is scheduled for hardback publication in 2020.

Originally from Narberth, former Ysgol y Preseli pupil Sophie now lives in London, but her home county continues to support her career.

The Water Cure has taken pride of place on the shelves of Narberth Museum's new bookshop Chapter One this autumn.

Sophie, aged 30, has previously won the White Review short story prize and the Virago/Stylist short story competition, and in November wrote a moving personal account of her partner's cancer diagnosis for the New York Times.

"It's been a whirlwind of a year - when it started I knew The Water Cure would be coming out, and that was exciting enough for me, but didn't expect to be nominated for the Booker prize and all the exposure that came along with it," said Sophie.

"It's been an amazing experience and I'm glad to be finishing off with a new book deal too."

Her new book is "a sly, urgent enquiry into free will, social expectation and the fraught space of motherhood", described as a novel that "pushes beneath the skin of female identity and patriarchal violence, to the point where human longing meets our animal bodies".

The blurb for the book reads: "Calla knows how the lottery works. Everyone does. On the day of your first bleed, you report to the station to learn what kind of woman you will be. A white ticket grants you children. A blue ticket grants you freedom. You are relieved of the terrible burden of choice. And, once you’ve taken your ticket, there is no going back. But – what if the life you’re given is the wrong one?"

Assistant editor at Hamish Hamilton, Hermione Thompson, said: "The idea of the lottery is so arresting – it immediately invites the reader to consider the colour of her own ticket – and, as with everything Sophie writes, it is told with exquisite control and aching beauty," enthused Thompson.

"Her worlds are always washed with a gorgeous, irresistible strangeness all the more unsettling for its nagging familiarity, its dark undertow of truth. Sophie Mackintosh is an extremely special author and it is a privilege to publish her on the Hamish Hamilton list."