Related to: 'The Last Letter from Your Lover'

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

Sheltering Rain

Jojo Moyes
Authors:
Jojo Moyes

From the bestselling author of Me Before You and two-time winner of the RNA Novel of the Year award.On Coronation night the ex-pat community in Hong Kong gathers for a celebration party, and while they strain to listen to the wireless, 21-year-old Joy falls in love at first sight. She is engaged within 24 hours, but will not see her fiance again for a year. In 1980, 18-year-old Patricia's rebellion is to run away to from County Wexford with her illegitimate child. Fifteen years later Sabine leaves trendy Hackney to visit the grandparents she doesn't know, and finds that time in Wexford seems to have stood still. When Sabine, her mother and grandmother are brought together, not only is a deeply buried family secret is discovered, but also some fundamental truths: about the conflict between love and duty, about women's choices, and about mothers and daughters.'Perceptive debut novel . . . Be sure that your bookmark is a hankie.' - Elle

Hodder Paperbacks

The Horse Dancer

Jojo Moyes
Authors:
Jojo Moyes

The 2009 novel The Horse Dancer by Jojo Moyes, the bestselling author of Me Before You and two-time winner of the RNA Novel of the Year award.'A tale brimming with tenderness and romance.' - Marie ClaireIn a hidden corner of London, Henri Lachapelle is teaching his granddaughter and her horse to defy gravity, just as he had done in France, fifty years previously. But when disaster strikes, fourteen-year-old Sarah is left to fend for herself.Forced to share a house with her charismatic ex-husband, her professional judgement called into question, lawyer Natasha Macauley's life seems to have gone awry. When her path crosses that of Sarah, she sees a chance to put things right.But she doesn't know that Sarah is keeping a secret, one that will change all their lives forever . . .

Hodder Paperbacks

Night Music

Jojo Moyes
Authors:
Jojo Moyes

The 2008 novel Night Music by Jojo Moyes, the bestselling author of Me Before You and two-time winner of the RNA Novel of the Year award.'Warm, engaging and acutely observed.' - Woman and HomeIsabel Delancey has always taken her gifted life for granted. But when her husband dies suddenly, leaving her with a mountain of debt, she and her two children are forced to abandon their home and move to a crumbling pile in the country.With the house falling down around them, and the last of her savings fast disappearing, Isabel turns to her neighbours, not knowing that her mere presence there has stirred up long-standing obsessions.As she fights to make her house a home, passions and lives collide. Isabel will discover an instinct for survival she never knew she had - and that a heart can play a new song . . .

Hodder Paperbacks

Silver Bay

Jojo Moyes
Authors:
Jojo Moyes

The moving and romantic novel from the bestselling author of Me Before You and The Girl You Left Behind. Shortlisted for the 2007 RNA Novel of the Year award. 'Compelling tale' - HeatLiza McCullen will never escape her past. But the unspoilt beaches and tight-knit community of Silver Bay offer the freedom and safety she craves - if not for herself, then for her young daughter, Hannah.Until Mike Dormer arrives as a guest in her aunt's hotel, and the peace of Silver Bay is shattered. The mild-mannered Englishman with his too-smart clothes and disturbing eyes could destroy everything Liza has worked so hard to protect: not only the family business and the bay that harbours her beloved whales, but also her conviction that she will never love - never deserve to love - again.

Hodder Paperbacks

Foreign Fruit

Jojo Moyes
Authors:
Jojo Moyes

The spellbinding 2003 novel from Jojo Moyes, bestselling author of Me Before You and The Girl You Left Behind. Moyes evokes the strictures of time beautifully, as well as the enervating charms of a sleepy resort. - Good HousekeepingIn the 1950s seaside town of Merham, everyone knows their place. Lottie Swift, an evacuee living with the respectable Holden family, loves it, while the Holdens' daughter Celia opposes its constraints.When a group of bohemians move into Arcadia, a grand Art Deco house on the seafront, Lottie and Celia are tempted into their alternative lifestyle. What ensues at the house has tragic and long-lasting consequences for all.Now almost fifty years on, Arcadia and its past secrets return to life, prompting the question: can you ever leave your past behind?

Hodder Paperbacks

The Peacock Emporium

Jojo Moyes
Authors:
Jojo Moyes
Hodder Paperbacks

The Ship of Brides

Jojo Moyes
Authors:
Jojo Moyes

Adélaïde de Clermont-Tonnerre

This is Adélaïde de Clermont-Tonnerre's second novel. Her first, Fourrure, won five literary prizes in France. Le Dernier des Nôtres was the winner of both the Académie Francaise Grand Prix du Roman and the 2016 inaugural Filigranes prize, awarded to the book with the widest general appeal. It was on the longlist for the 2016 Renaudot prize, on the shortlist of four for the 2016 Landerneau prize, longlisted for the Prix de Flore.

Andy Jones

In one form or another, Andy has always been a writer. At school, he passed notes in class and scribbled rude words on lampposts. At University, he wrote a PhD in biochemistry and forged tickets to various balls. And as an advertising copywriter, has written commercials for everything from baby food to booze. But it wasn't until he was well into his thirties that Andy stared writing fiction. If he could write a letter his younger self, it would urge him to stop messing about and get on with it. FOUR is his fourth novel, but should probably be his tenth. Find Andy on Twitter and Instagram @andyjonesauthor, and Facebook /andyjonesauthor.

Catriona McPherson

Catriona McPherson was born in the village of Queensferry in south-east Scotland in 1965 and educated at Edinburgh University. She left with a PhD in Linguistics and spent a few years as a university lecturer before beginning to write fiction. The first Dandy Gilver novel was short-listed for the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger 2005 and the second was long-listed for the Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year Award 2007. In 2012 DANDY GILVER AND THE PROPER TREATMENT OF BLOODSTAINS was nominated for a Historical Macavity Award. Catriona writes full-time and divides her time between southern Scotland and northern California.www.dandygilver.comwww.catrionamcpherson.comwww.twitter.com/CatrionaMcP

Erin Kelly

Erin Kelly is the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Poison Tree, The Sick Rose, The Burning Air, The Ties That Bind, He Said/She Said and Broadchurch: The Novel, inspired by the mega-hit TV series. In 2013, The Poison Tree became a major ITV drama and was a Richard & Judy Summer Read in 2011. Born in London in 1976, she lives in north London with her husband and daughters. www.erinkelly.co.ukwww.twitter.com/mserinkelly

Glen David Gold

Glen David Gold was born and grew up in California, where he currently lives. His first novel, CARTER BEATS THE DEVIL was published in 2001, when it was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, and has been translated into 14 languages. His second novel, SUNNYSIDE, was published in 2009. His short stories and essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Playboy and McSweeney's.

Helena Coggan

Helena Coggan wrote the first draft of her debut novel, The Catalyst, when she was thirteen. It was published two years later and was named as one of 2015's Debuts of the Year by the Guardian and Amazon, and featured by The Sunday Times, the Observer, the Daily Mail, the Sun, the Daily Metro, the Sunday Express, Radio 4, NBC, and BBC Breakfast. Up until she started writing it, she spent most of her time waiting for her Hogwarts letter to arrive, or for the Tardis to appear in her garden; she would like to pretend she has stopped doing this now, but doubts she ever will. She lives in London with her parents and sister, and spends most of her time suppressing the thought that she should probably be doing her homework. The Reaction, the sequel to The Catalyst, is her second novel.

Ilka Tampke

Ilka Tampke was awarded a Glenfern Fellowship in 2012. Her short stories and articles have been published in several anthologies. She lives in Woodend, Australia. Her debut novel Skin was published to critical acclaim. Songwoman is her second novel.

Jessie Greengrass

Jessie Greengrass was born in 1982. She studied philosophy in Cambridge and London, where she now lives with her partner and child. An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It won the Edge Hill Short Story Prize and a Somerset Maugham Award, and was shortlisted for the PFD/Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. Sight is her first novel.

Jojo Moyes

Jojo Moyes was born in 1969 and brought up in London. A journalist and writer, she worked for the Independent until 2001. She lives in East Anglia with her husband and three children.Jojo has twice won the Romantic Novelists' Association Novel of the Year Award: in 2011 for The Last Letter From Your Lover and in 2003 for Foreign Fruit. The Ship of Brides and Silver Bay were shortlisted for the 2005 and 2007 RNA award and Silver Bay was shortlisted for the inaugural Good Housekeeping 2007 Book of the Year award. You can read Jojo's blog or find out more from her website, www.jojomoyes.com, follow her on Twitter @jojomoyes or find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jojo.moyes.

Karen Robards

Karen Robards is the internationally bestselling author of over forty romantic suspense novels, which have regularly appeared on the New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists, among others. She is the mother of three boys and lives with her family in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.You can find out more at www.karenrobards.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorKarenRobards or follow her on Twitter @TheKarenRobards.

Lindsey Davis

Historical novelist Lindsey Davis is best known for her novels set in Ancient Rome, including the much-loved Marcus Didius Falco series, although she has also written about the English Civil War, including in 2014 A Cruel Fate, a book for the Quick Reads literacy initiative. Her examination of the paranoid reign of the roman emperor Domitian began with Master and God, a standalone novel, leading to her new series about Flavia Albia, set in that dark period.Her books are translated and have been dramatized on BBC Radio 4. Her many awards include the Premio Colosseo (from the city of Rome) and the Crime Writers' Cartier Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement. Most recently she was the inaugural winner of the Barcino (Barcelona) International Historical Novel Prize.

Lisa Jackson

LISA JACKSON is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than seventy-five novels, including Ready to Die, Afraid to Die, You Don't Want to Know, Running Scared, Without Mercy, Malice and Shiver. She has over twenty million copies of her books in print in nineteen languages. She lives with her family and a rambunctious pug in the Pacific Northwest. Find out more atwww.lisajackson.comwww.facebook.com/lisajacksonfanswww.twitter.com/readlisajackson

Mick Herron

Mick Herron's first Jackson Lamb novel, Slow Horses, was described as the 'most enjoyable British spy novel in years' by the Mail on Sunday and picked as one of the best twenty spy novels of all time by the Daily Telegraph. The second, Dead Lions, won the 2013 CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger. The third, Real Tigers, was shortlisted for the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and both the CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger and the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger. The fourth, Spook Street, was shortlisted for the Gold Dagger and won the Steel Dagger. London Rules is the fifth.Mick Herron was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, and now lives in Oxford.