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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One Perfect Family

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
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Gifts For Our Time

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
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Ridge Hill

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

Book threein the heartwarming Lancashire-based Gibson series by beloved saga author Anna Jacobs. It's 1848 and preparations are underway for Annie Gibson's wedding to Bilsden's wealthy millwoner, Frederick Hallam. But not everyone is as pleased as they are. Frederick's daughter, Beatrice, is horrified at the prospect of a new attractive stepmother arriving at the house on Ridge Hill. Even Annie's own family feels threatened. The only person who seems pleased is Tom, Annie's brother. Soon, however, real troubles begin to pile up for the Gibsons. Tom's happiness is jeopardised by the news that he is father to a child he never knew about. Annie's son, William, is devastated to find out that his real father is not the man who brought him up. And even Annie's joy cannot last. Because someone has uncovered the secrets she has fought so hard to keep hidden...

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Spinners Lake

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
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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

1871. When Fergus Deagan's wife dies in childbirth, she makes him promise to take their family to Western Australia to join his brother Bram, also to marry again. She's right. His young sons and newborn daughter do need a mother's love and he needs something different.Disowned by her father for becoming pregnant, Cara Payton bears a stillborn baby. She's in deep despair, until a plea to wetnurse 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. Then 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 make friends. 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? Will the newcomers find a way to build a new life?

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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
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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. However, her father has other ideas and orders her to marry their vicious neighbour Rory Flynn, even though she loathes him. But after Rory brutally attacks her Ismay realises she has to escape. So, 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?

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The Trader's Wife

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

Singapore in the 1860s is exotic and yet terrifying for a penniless Englishwoman, alone and vulnerable after her mother's death. Too pretty to obtain a governess's job, Isabella Saunders accepts an offer from Singapore merchant Mr Lee to teach him English and live with his family. Two years later Bram Deagan arrives in Singapore, determined to make his fortune as a trader. Mr Lee sees a way to expand his business connections and persuades Isabella to marry Bram.Bravely, she sets sail for a new land and life. But the past casts a long shadow and together she and Bram face unexpected dangers. Will they find a way to achieve their dreams of a successful trading business? And will their marriage turn out to be more of a love match than they ever could have dreamed?

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Destiny's Path

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
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Farewell to Lancashire

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

Cassandra Blake has raised her three motherless sisters. The girls are the pride of their book-loving, impractical father, and not in a hurry to marry. Then the American Civil War cuts off supplies of cotton to Lancashire, the mills fall silent and there is no work. There is a stark choice: stay and risk starvation or pack up and begin again elsewhere. Cassandra has fallen in love with Reece Gregory, but he can't support a wife. When he's given the chance to start a new life in Western Australia, he seizes the opportunity, promising to send for her.Then an old feud tears the family apart. Cassandra is kidnapped and her sisters are forced to sail with a group of desperate cotton lasses to Fremantle. Penniless and alone, Cassandra is determined to find them again - but when she is offered a way, there is a painful price to pay.

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Freedom's Land

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
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Twopenny Rainbows

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
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Our Mary Ann

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

She thought the worst was behind her . . .Life is tough in Lancashire in 1905 - and especially so for fifteen-year-old Mary Ann, who was born out of wedlock. When her new stepfather begins to abuse her, Mary Ann doesn't know how much more she can take - until the worst happens and she is sent away to bear his child. After the birth, she manages to escape to Blackpool with the help of her new friend Gabriel.Years later, the Great War brings Mary Ann many new opportunities, and brings Gabriel back into her life - but circumstances mean they can never be together. When her mother dies, Mary Ann decides it's finally time to return to Lancashire and uncover the secrets of her past. But an unknown danger threatens both her and the child she thought she'd lost forever . . . Will history repeat itself - or will Mary Ann's courage win her the happiness she deserves?************************What readers are saying about OUR MARY ANN'Spellbinding' - 5 stars'I couldn't put this book down. A tale of a strong woman who managed to keep her head and heart up against adversity' - 5 stars'First class!' - 5 stars

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A Pennyworth of Sunshine

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
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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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Salem Street

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs