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.

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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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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

Hodder & Stoughton

The Trader's Reward

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

1871. When Fergus Deagan's wife dies in childbirth, she makes him promise to take their family from Ireland to Western Australia to join his brother Bram, and also to marry again to make sure their children don't miss out on a mother's love. Disowned by her father for becoming pregnant, Cara Payton bears a stillborn baby. She struggles on in deep despair, until a plea to wet-nurse a motherless baby gives her life new purpose. When Fergus proposes marriage, she accepts. She respects him and is happy to stay with the baby she now loves. During the voyage to Australia, she and Fergus draw closer, until her past rears its ugly head and they face a terrible crisis . . .When they finally get to Fremantle, Fergus and Bram, always rivals, struggle to get along. To make matters worse, Bram has financial problems and there is no railway where Fergus can find engineering work. Can the two brothers solve their problems? And will the newcomers find a way to build a new life?**************What readers are saying about THE TRADER'S REWARD'An excellent book, and series, that I couldn't put down. Definitely worth reading' - 5 stars'A great end to a wonderful series' - 5 stars'Fantastic reading' - 5 stars'Brilliant as always' - 5 stars'I loved this one as much as the rest of the Trader Saga' - 5 stars

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The Trader's Gift

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
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The Trader's Dream

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
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The Trader's Sister

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

Ismay Deagan has one wish in the world - to leave Ireland and join her brother, Bram, in Australia. But her father has other ideas and orders her to marry their vicious neighbour Rory Flynn - a man she loathes. One day, Rory brutally attacks her and Ismay realises she has no choice but to run away.Disguising herself as an impoverished young widow, she sets sail for Australia, hoping to be reunited with her brother. When she meets Adam Treagar on the ship, she finally starts to believe her dreams of future happiness may come true. But before they even reach their destination they are flung into adventures in Suez, Ceylon and Singapore . . .Can Ismay tell Adam the truth about who she really is? What secrets is Adam himself hiding? And will Ismay's past catch up with her and threaten her new life in Australia, before it has even begun?**************What readers are saying about THE TRADER'S SISTER'I was hooked on this story right from the first page to the very end' - 5 stars'The Trader series are some of the best books I have read in many a year' - 5 stars'Another enthralling book . . . Fantastic!' - 5 stars'Can't put these books down' - 5 stars'Excellent as always from Anna Jacobs' - 5 stars

Hodder & Stoughton

The Trader's Wife

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
Hodder & Stoughton

Destiny's Path

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
Hodder & Stoughton

Our Mary Ann

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
Hodder & Stoughton

Beyond the Sunset

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

'Enjoyed this book so much I didn't want it to end!!!' - 5-star reader reviewIn the untamed outback of Western Australia, the Blake sisters are together again despite what seemed like unsurmountable odds. For Cassandra - reunited again with the man she loves - the Swan River Colony is a refuge that seems like a miracle after all her ordeals. And two of her sisters have fallen in love with their new way of life.But then a messenger arrives from faraway England, and it is the fourth sister, Pandora, who jumps at the chance to make her way back to the Lancashire moors that she misses so badly. The way home, though, will be even harder than the voyage to Australia. The only ship that can take her and her new protector back to England lies many days' journey away, across country that would daunt even a hardened explorer. And when she reaches Outham, a devious, dangerous enemy will do anything to prevent her from taking charge of her family's inheritance . . .What readers are saying about BEYOND THE SUNSET'Another Anna Jacobs novel I could not put down' - 5 stars'Just loved this book - a great read - couldn't put it down!' - 5 stars'A great book' - 5 stars'I enjoyed every page' - 5 stars'Anna Jacobs is brilliant at her craft' - 5 stars

Hodder & Stoughton

Twopenny Rainbows

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
Hodder & Stoughton

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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Freedom's Land

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
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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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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

Coronet

Down Weavers Lane

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

'Best period book I have EVER read! - 5-star reader review'Emmy Carter's mother is a prostitute - and her life has made Emmy determined to avoid the same fate. But Emmy is beautiful, so attracts unwanted attention; her mother's protector has his eye on her, as does evil Marcus Armistead, her employer's nephew. Marcus is excited by Emmy's virginity and has her kidnapped, but Emmy hits him over the head and escapes. Marcus, futher enraged, kills her mother and becomes even more determined to rape Emmy, but the combined efforts of the local parson and Emmy's young suitor manage to keep her safe from harm. Finally Emmy sees Marcus get his just desserts, finds out who her father was, and attains the respectability she has so longed for.***********************What readers are saying about DOWN WEAVER'S LANE'Could not put this book down' - 5 stars'Kept wanting to read it all in one go' - 5 stars'Such a brilliant writer . . . once you start to read this book you won't be able to put it down' - 5 stars'A gripping novel' - 5 stars'This book was brilliant - get the tissues ready!' - 5 stars

Hodder & Stoughton

Lancashire Legacy

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
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Spinners Lake

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

Hodder & Stoughton

Ridge Hill

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
Hodder & Stoughton

Salem Street

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

**The first book in the gripping, uplifting Gibson Family saga, perfect for fans of , Dilly Court, Catherine Cookson and 'Call the Midwife'**Lancashire, 1820. Annie Gibson's family is one of the first to move into the brand new terraced houses on Salem Street, built by a mill owner for his workers. Annie's is a happy childhood - until her mother dies, leaving her to bring up her brother and sister. And then her jealous new stepmother throws her out of the house.But she finds work in the local doctor's household, and when her adored childhood friend Matt asks her to marry him, Annie thinks her dreams are coming true.Then suddenly everything turns upside-down. Abandoned and pregnant, will Annie ever be able to move into the wider world again?********Praise for Anna Jacobs'Anna Jacobs' books are deservedly popular. She is one of the best writers of Lancashire sagas around' - Historical Novels Reviews'Catherine Cookson fans will cheer!' - Peterborough Evening Telegraph'Anna Jacobs' books have an impressive grasp of human emotions' - Sunday Times