Related to: 'Our Eva'

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

One Perfect Family

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

One Perfect Family . . . can bring a whole village togetherLancashire, 1934. When Tam Crawford is unexpectedly bequeathed some money, he can finally realise his dream of settling down in the beautiful village of Ellindale.Tam knows he can be impulsive - his nickname isn't Crazy Tam for nothing! - but this time he is determined not to be ruled by his big heart and hot head. Yet somehow, within just one day, he has taken on a fiancée and two children to keep them out of the poorhouse - or worse. Despite their unconventional start, as Tam and his new family get to know and love each other, they come to realise that his act of charity is the best thing that could have happened to all of them. But there are still problems and they struggle to find somewhere to live.Tam and his makeshift family are not the only ones facing difficulties. Local benefactor Finn Carlisle's attempts to help the unemployed are being sabotaged by an unscrupulous local councillor, and Tam's cousin-by-marriage Hilda Kerkham has been widowed and is struggling even to feed her son. Will the people of Ellindale be able to help one another in these hard times?Praise for the Ellindale series'One of the most lovely and heartwarming books I have ever read! *****' - Between the Pages 'A book of family, love, friendship and loyalty. *****' - Stardust Book Reviews'I was gripped from the very first word on the very first page and I wasn't released until the last word on the last page . . . When I finished I felt like I had been through an emotional wringer. *****' - Ginger Book Geek

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Gifts For Our Time

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

Germany 1939, and Christa Sommer boards the Kindertransport, unsure that she'll ever see her beloved mother and father again.Once in England she is taken in by elderly Mrs Pelling, who grows to love Christa as the daughter she never had. But in 1945 Mrs Pelling dies. While her will cannot be found, her money-grabbing niece appears out of the blue to claim her inheritance and turfs Christa out, with only a suitcase to her name. The prejudice against Germans still runs high in England, and Christa is unable to secure a job or a place to stay...Luck comes her way when a lady she saves from being mugged turns out to be Mayne Esher's friend Daniel's mother. Taking pity on Christa, they take her to Rivenshaw where they plan to start a new life as part of the Esher building firm.There Christa is welcomed with open arms and she soon develops a love for the place, the people and, Daniel... But Esherwood is not the trouble-free sanctuary she first thinks. Determined to do their bit for soldiers returning from the war they have agreed to allow the council to build prefabs on some of Esherwood's garden. But an empire-building town planner seems set on taking all of Mayne's land for the war effort... Mayne has also discovered a secret door at the back of the old Nissen hut, with a complicated locking mechanism that has local locksmiths dumbfounded.Just what is hidden behind the door to warrant such high security?

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Ridge Hill

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
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Spinners Lake

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

The final novel in the heartwarming Lancashire-based Gibson Family series by beloved saga author Anna Jacobs.It is 1860 in Bilsden, the Lancashire mill town, and Frederick Hallam is dying. But first he makes secret plans to smooth the future path for his beloved wife Annie. Her sister, Joanie, is fed up with everything until a dshing new admirer crosses her path. But a spurned suitor is determined that Joanie will be his, whatever the cost. And he is not the only one who wants to harm the Gibson family. Meanwhile the Civil War in America cuts off cotton supplies, so that times are hard in Bilsden and unemployment is rife. Annie had to rebuild her life after her husband's death and plans to create Spinners Lake, an extraordinary project that will keep her workers from destitution and assuage her own grief. Tian Gilchrist is caught up in the American war and nearly dies there. He fights his way back to Bildsen, to Annie, whom he has never forgotten. And the plans that Frederick made for Annie will change her life in unforeseen ways, bringing her hope and happiness once again...

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High Street

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

The second in the heartwarming Lancashire saga series that began with SALEM STREET, by beloved author Anna Jacobs.In 1845 Annie Gibson can finally leave Salem Street. Her dreams of being able to open an elegant dressmaking salon in the High Street of Bilsden, a Lancashire mill town, have come true. And she is going to take her father and his second family with her, away from poverty, away from the Rows.But Annie has not left trouble behind. Someone is trying to undermine her business. Her family have their own ideas about what they want to do with their lives. And several men are persistently trying to win favour with the beautiful young widow - including Frederick Hallam, the mill owner, and Daniel O'Connor, her childhood friend.As Annie gets better acquainted with both, she becomes increasingly confused about her feelings. Can she really be in love And can she risk trusting any man again

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The Trader's Reward

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
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The Trader's Gift

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

Bram Deagan has a thriving trading business, a growing family - and a gift for matchmaking. His dearest wish is to see his friends Dougal and Mitchell happily married too.In England, Eleanor Prescott has been widowed and often thinks of Dougal McBride, the ship's captain who was a true friend to her. Does she dare return to Western Australia to find him?Jacinta Blacklea is also a widow, desperate to protect her young son. When she hears of a man in Australia looking for a wife, she determines to grasp Mitchell Nash's invitation with both hands. But the troubles of her old life can't be easily left behind.Both Eleanor and Jacinta bravely set off for Australia. But is it worth taking such a huge risk on the chance of happiness?

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The Trader's Dream

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
Hodder & Stoughton

The Trader's Wife

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

Singapore in the 1860s is exotic and yet terrifying for Isabella Saunders, a penniless Englishwoman, alone and vulnerable after her mother's death. Too pretty to obtain a governess's job, she accepts an offer from Mr Lee, a Singapore merchant, to teach him English and live with his family.Two years later Bram Deagan arrives in the country, determined to make his fortune as a trader. Mr Lee sees a way to expand his business connections and persuades Isabella to marry Bram, and she bravely sets sail for a new land and life. But the past casts a long shadow and together they face unexpected dangers. Will they ever be able to achieve their dreams - and find happiness together along the way?*******************What readers are saying about THE TRADER'S WIFE'This is women's fiction at its very best' - 5 stars'I loved this book' - 5 stars'Fantastic, couldn't put it down' - 5 stars'I love Anna Jacobs books and never want them to end' - 5 stars'Like all her books, excellent' - 5 stars

Hodder & Stoughton

Freedom's Land

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

Her husband was killed in the Great War. His wife is dead. Why not journey to the other side of the world and start again from scratch? What does it matter if they don't know each other, they will in time, after all? Norah thinks it is the most stupid idea she has ever heard. But Andrew needs no persuading. His kids are without a mother, he lives in a Lancashire town with no prospects: he can't wait to build a new life for himself in Australia. The government will even give ex-servicemen a farm, as long as they clear the land themselves. The only thing he needs is a wife to join him and time is short. Then Norah's father dies and there is nowhere for her or her daughter to go. For the first time in her life she decides to do something crazy. It may be madness to follow a man she barely knows to an untamed land of heat, spiders and endless bush far from home, but it may also be the answer to all her dreams.

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Calico Road

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

'This is one of the best books I've ever read' - 5-star reader reviewCalico Road runs through a tiny Lancashire hamlet up on the edge of the moors, miles from anywhere. Its folk are an independent breed - and in 1827 they are a thorn in the side of the vicious mill owner in the valley below.Toby Fletcher's father ignored his bastard son while alive. Now Toby is the new owner of the rambling old inn, an unwitting keeper of its secrets. Then Meg Staley comes to Calico - a woman who was strong enough to survive one tragedy, but found it harder to withstand a second blow. Toby finds her wandering the moors, cold and starving, and brings her back to the inn. Working there, Meg starts to rebuild her life and find a fragile happiness.But then the secrets of Calico Road come crashing down on her and those she has grown to love . . .*******************What readers are saying about CALICO ROAD'Anna Jacobs' writing is sooo good' - 5 stars'Full of excitement, didn't want to put it down' - 5 stars'Another lovely book by Anna Jacobs' - 5 stars'An amazing read' - 5 stars'A brilliant series' - 5 stars'Could not put it down' - 5 stars

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Threepenny Dreams

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

Sometimes the worst has to happen . . . Recently widowed, Hannah Firth is still young - young enough to dream of a new life. When her spiteful daughter-in-law uses her as an unpaid servant, Hannah tries to leave, but she is unaware of the depths that Patty's spite will lead her to.Nathaniel King's life is ruined when his landlord's son lays waste to his market garden for a prank - and the resulting feud puts Nathaniel's livelihood at stake. Hannah has only a few coins and dreams of a happier future to sustain her as she tramps the roads and evades pursuit. When she meets Nathaniel, the attraction between them cannot be denied and they join forces. But their enemies have money and powerful allies on their side and will stop at nothing to get rid of them . . .**********************What readers are saying about THREEPENNY DREAMS'Such a lovely book, with characters you felt you knew . . . I was sorry to finish it' - 5 stars'Could not put this book down. I love the way Anna Jacobs makes you feel as though you know all the people and she is a great storyteller' - 5 stars'Anna Jacobs has done it again!!!' - 5 stars

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Twopenny Rainbows

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
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Our Mary Ann

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
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A Pennyworth of Sunshine

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

Love can cross oceans . . .Keara Michaels doesn't want to leave her family in Ireland, but fate sends her first to Lancashire, then across the sea to Australia, pregnant and penniless. And Theo Mullane, the man who loves her, is married, with an ailing baby son, so cannot follow her as he longs to.Mark Gibson leaves Lancashire to avoid marriage. But gold prospecting is a dangerous pursuit, and when his gentle young wife dies in childbirth, his father-in-law kidnaps the baby. So Mark runs away again, this time to Western Australia, where he employs Keara in his country inn.But danger threatens them all, even in the bush, as Keara searches for her lost sisters, Theo comes looking for the woman he loves, and Mark at last confronts his past.**********************What readers are saying about A PENNYWORTH OF SUNSHINE'I couldn't put it down' - 5 stars'An excellent read from start to finish' - 5 stars'Brilliant, as always . . . Anna Jacobs never fails to keep the story line motivated, gripping, and endearing' - 5 stars

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Lancashire Legacy

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

'I felt as if this book was my addiction . . . A truly remarkable author' - 5-star reader reviewAt eighteen, Cathie longs for more than life as a settler in the Australian bush. So when her uncle offers her the chance to send her to England, she grabs the opportunity with both hands and runs away from her family. But little does she know that he is using her to get revenge on his sister, Liza.Attacked at the docks in Liverpool, Cathie takes refuge with the man who saved her, a man who has his own troubles. But as she slowly regains her memory and meets her Lancashire relatives, she must confront the legacy of her mother's past.And even in 1876, the same wealthy families who forced her mother to leave Lancashire are still powerful enough to threaten Cathie's happiness and safety - as well as that of anyone close to her . . .**********************What readers are saying about LANCASHIRE LEGACY'Another brilliant read from Anna. Love it' - 5 stars'Riveting' - 5 stars'Brilliant story, as always. Didn't want it to end' - 5 stars'WOW, such a good read' - 5 stars'I couldn't put this down' - 5 stars

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Lancashire Lass

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

'Another riveting book from Anna Jacobs' - 5-star reader reviewSeventeen-year-old Liza is happy working as a lady's maid - until her employers decide to emigrate and her father makes up his mind that she is to wed an older widower whom she detests. Determined to avoid a loveless marriage, Liza plans to run away. But when the widower rapes her to force her to marry him, she flees back to the family for whom she worked. She feels she has no choice but to go with them to Australia, and they all set out on the long voyage.On board ship, Liza discovers to her horror that she has fallen pregnant. Even if she can survive the journey, the demanding life of a settler in 1850s Western Australia will be made even harder by an illegitimate child. But Liza is to find that in addition to deprivation of the worst sort, Australia will offer her opportunities she could never have dreamt of back home in Lancashire.*******************What readers are saying about LANCASHIRE LASS'As ever, great!' - 5 stars'A lovely book' - 5 stars'Great from start to finish' - 5 stars'Brilliant again!' - 5 stars'I just love these books - once you start you will find it hard to put down' - 5 stars

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Our Lizzie

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
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Hallam Square

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
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Salem Street

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs