Related to: 'The Wisdom House'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

Hodder & Stoughton

Tell Me A Story

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton

The Sixty Minute Grandparent

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

'If you have children, buy this book for your parents now. If you are a grandparent, don't go near your grandchildren until you have read it!' Rosemary ConleyThere are many different kinds of grandparents - tired-out or over-eager, super-involved or unsure how to help, unwilling or ever-ready. In this simple book Rob Parsons will help you reach the common aspiration: to be the best grandparent that you can possibly be.- The baby stage: helping out without interfering - How to help your own children find their way as parents- Loving your grandchildren without spoiling them- When to intervene, and when to keep out of it- Finding your place within a blended family- Becoming invaluable (rather than insufferable) to your daughter-in-law

Hodder & Stoughton

What They Didn't Teach Me in Sunday School

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

A new edition of this best-selling inspirational book which is already an established classic. Some of the lessons learnt along the way will change forever the way we view ourselves, others and especially God. A book filled with fresh starts, new tomorrows and incredible hope.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Heart of Success

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton

Loving Against the Odds

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton

The Sixty Minute Marriage

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton

The Money Secret

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton

The Sixty Minute Mother

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton

Teenagers!

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

Rob Parsons explains how to cope with this often disruptive period in a family's life and how to continue feeling close to your teenagers as they grow up and become increasingly independent. He gives clear and easy to follow advice making sure that you will not feel on your own and you will be able to make the most of your precious time with your children.'Insightful and practical. It will help every parent navigate those turbulent teenage years.' - David Lumsdon, Educational Psychology Academic and Professional Tutor, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne 'This incredible book will save not just our relationships with our children, but our sanity. And the really lucky ones will discover it before their kids are teenagers.' - Parentalk 'It was as if somebody turned on a light. This book whispered to me, 'You're not the worst mother on the face of the earth. This stuff with your teenager is normal.' - Jennie, mother of three teenagers

Hodder & Stoughton

The Sixty Minute Father

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton

What Every Kid Wished their Parents Knew

Rob Parsons, Lloyd Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons, Lloyd Parsons

Rob Parsons teams up with his teen-age son, Lloyd, to write a warm and witty guide to parent/child communication. With cartoon illustrations.

Alison Jean Lester

Alison Jean Lester was born and raised in the US and the UK and educated in the US, the UK, China and Italy. She spent twenty-five years working, writing and raising her children in Japan and Singapore before relocating to the UK in 2016. She is the author of the novel Lillian on Life and has had short stories published in Ecotone and Good Housekeeping.

Alister McGrath

Alister McGrath is the Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford University, and Fellow of Harris Manchester College, Oxford. After initial academic work in the natural sciences, Alister turned to the study of theology and intellectual history, while occasionally becoming engaged in broader cultural debates about the rationality and relevance of the Christian faith. He is the author of many academic and theological works, as well as the bestselling The Dawkins Delusion and, most recently, his acclaimed C. S. Lewis - A Life.

Anna Jacobs

Anna Jacobs grew up in Lancashire and emigrated to Australia, but still visits the UK regularly to see her family and do research, something she loves. She is addicted to writing and figures she'll have to live to be 120 at least to tell all the stories that keep popping up in her imagination and nagging her to write them down.She's also addicted to her own hero, to whom she's been happily married for many years.She is the bestselling author of over sixty novels and has been shortlisted for several awards. Pride of Lancashire won the Australian Romantic Book of the Year Award in 2006, and The Trader's Wife is on the shortlist for the 2012 award.You can find out more on her website, www.annajacobs.com or on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Anna.Jacobs.Books.

Brendan Cox

Brendan Cox was Jo's husband and is dad to their two children.For the last eighteen months he has been working to combat growing xenophobia and intolerance across Europe.Brendan's royalties for this book will go to the Jo Cox Foundation.jocoxfoundation.org

Brian D. McLaren

Brian McLaren is a bestselling author, internationally acclaimed speaker and spiritual leader in the emerging church movement. Named one of Time magazine's 25 most influential evangelical Christians, McLaren was a pastor for over 20 years. He is a frequent guest on radio and television programmes and an in-demand blogger on faith and public policy.Brian McLaren is an internationally acclaimed speaker and outspoken advocate for 'a new kind of Christianity'. Named one of Time magazine's 25 most influential Evangelical Christians, McLaren was a pastor for over 20 years. He is a frequent guest on radio and television programmes, and an in-demand blogger on faith and public policy (brianmclaren.net). @brianmclaren

Chrissie Manby

Chrissie Manby is the author of twenty romantic comedies including A PROPER FAMILY HOLIDAY, THE MATCHBREAKER and SEVEN SUNNY DAYS. She has had several Sunday Times bestsellers and her novel about behaving badly after a break-up, GETTING OVER MR RIGHT, was nominated for the 2011 Melissa Nathan Award. Chrissie was raised in Gloucester, in the west of England, and now lives in London. Contrary to the popular conception of chick-lit writers, she is such a bad home-baker that her own father threatened to put her last creation on www.cakewrecks.com. She is, however, partial to white wine and shoes she can't walk in. You can follow her on Twitter @chrissiemanby, or visit her website www.chrissiemanby.co.uk to find out more.

David Suchet

David Suchet CBE is an acclaimed British actor. He has enjoyed great success with the RSC and in London's West End. He is best known in television for his portrayal of Agatha Christie's detective Hercule Poirot. He is also a practising Anglican. In 2012 he made a series for the BBC called 'In the Footsteps of St Paul'. Follow him on Twitter @David_Suchet

Dr Mike Shooter

Dr Mike Shooter CBE is a former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and was the first child psychiatrist to hold that post. He is now an honorary fellow of six Royal Colleges and has spoken from public and professional platforms, written and advised governments in many parts of the world. He is currently President of The British Association for Counselling. An ex-journalist, Mike is a passionate believer in the power of stories and the need to share them - those of his patients and his own. He still lives in the Welsh Valleys, amidst a large family, many animals, and the community with whom he worked for more than 40 years.

Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand grew up in Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop, where she was a teaching/writing fellow. She now lives with her husband and their three children on Nantucket, Massachusetts, where her novels are set.You can follow Elin on Twitter @elinhilderbrand or find out more on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/ElinHilderbrand.