Phoebe Luckhurst

Phoebe Luckhurst is a London-based journalist. She is Senior Commissioning Editor at the Sunday Times Magazine and was previously the Acting Features Editor of the Evening Standard. She has written for the Guardian, Sunday Times Style, ELLE, ES Magazine, Grazia, The Telegraph and Vogue. She was born in London, brought up in Glasgow and read English at Cambridge.

Her debut novel The Lock In was published by Penguin Michael Joseph in 2021 and was nominated for the 2022 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction. Her second novel The Back Up Man was published in January 2023.



The Back Up Man

Phoebe Luckhurst

Phoebe Luckhurst is one of the funniest new novelists out there. Perfect for anyone who has ever attempted to stalk an ex on Facebook (all of us, then) ― Evening Standard

Twenty-nine, single, jobless and in a house share with her cousin who can barely look at her, things could be going better for Anya Mackie.

When she stumbles across the pact she made with high school crush, Euan Carrick – to marry at thirty if they’re still single – a silly teenage idea suddenly seems like a lifeline.

However, Euan hasn’t been seen for a decade.

Reluctantly enlisting the help of Euan’s emotionally unavailable best mate Jamie Kildare, who has his own mysterious reasons for tracking Euan down, Anya sets off across the country to find her Back Up Man.

‘A charming romance’

— Woman's Own Magazine

‘An entertaining and endearing novel that’s filled with mishaps, long shots and warmth from start to finish, all centred on a
character who brings familiarity and warmth to every page…a cosy, heartfelt novel that
celebrates life for all of its messy, joyful and far-fetched twists and turns’

— Culturefly

‘Hilarious read … funny and uplifting.’

— The Sun

‘A romcom with depth and substance and also, refreshingly, set in Glasgow.’

— Red Magazine

‘An entertaining romcom with a brilliantly relatable set-up…Luckhurst is no doubt a terrific writer’

— i Newspaper

The Lock In

Phoebe Luckhurst

A David Nicholls for Millennialsi

Entertaining, endearing, and truly unique. Found myself wincing and laughing with familiarity – Emma Gannon, bestselling author of Olive

The year’s most original romcom – ELLE

Hilarious – Evening Standard, ‘Best New Books in 2021’

Such a fun, clever, original and massively entertaining read . . . I love it, you’ll love it – Lindsey Kelk

I loved this book. Brilliantly written and so perceptive on the trials and tribulations of Generation Rent, it’s also screamingly funny, deliciously nostalgic and really just a very fun time. I almost wish they’d stayed locked in for longer – Lauren Bravo

An immensely readable, witty and well-crafted debut . . . a very millennial tale of love, loneliness and friendship ― i

Funny and compelling from page one and so well written. Such a brilliant premise and really well executed. Officially a huge fan of Phoebe Luckhurst! – Lucy Vine, bestselling author of Hot Mess

Loved the concept and characters. . . it’s very funny – Sarra Manning

A funny, joyful hug of a book! A nostalgic, pitch perfect ode to the awkwardness and hilarity of yearning teenage years and house sharing in your twenties – Cressida McLaughlin

One to watch – The Bookseller

Whilst nursing The Hangover from Hell, Ellen stumbles downstairs to find their kitchen slowly filling with water. Together with her housemates, Ellen launches a desperate attempt to find the fuse box in the attic. Hearing the commotion, Ben, Alexa’s shirtless Hinge date from the night before, comes to investigate. Only for the door to slam, the handle to break – and for all four of them to become trapped.

And so begins the most awkward morning-after-the-night-before…

Following a closely fought five-way auction, Penguin’s Michael Joseph imprint secured the rights to Phoebe Luckhurst’s debut novel in a six figure deal.