Related to: 'Mad is the Heart'

Julie Sarkissian on the protagonist in DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy

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

Betrayal

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

Chateau of Flowers

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

Climb to the Stars

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins

An arduous journey to exotic lands has turned into a nightmare for Jane Daunt. As the "poor" relation, Jane serves as a private secretary to her uncle and companion to her beautiful spoiled cousin. Jane watches the whims of her cousin Sonia have a devastating effect upon Pat Connel, the strong dependable chauffeur - and she suffers as a silent spectator to their romance. Jane is deeply in love with Pat - but she knows he will have to suffer as she had. She had sworn to Sonia long ago not to reveal the terrible secret of the past - a secret that would prevent Pat and Sonia from marrying - a secret that would send Pat into Jane's waiting arms...A captivating love story from the 100-million-copy bestselling Queen of Romance, first published in 1936, and available now for the first time in eBook.

Hodder & Stoughton

Come Back Yesterday

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins

Half Russian, with all the deep seated passion of that people, Tamara Whitfield thinks herself very much in love with Paul Pryce. Paul with his attractive mocking smile, has captured her heart and for her, it has been no casual affair. But Paul, a struggling young composer, does not want to be pinned down, and he leaves Tam for another girl...Tam marries Quentin, a young stockbroker who is handsome and reliable. But try as she might, Tam cannot forget Paul. When a tragedy alters her whole life, she finds herself drawn once more to her old flame...

Hodder & Stoughton

Could I forget

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

Moment of Love

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

Bride of Revenge

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins

After her aunt's death, Thea gladly gives up her dreary job in the suburbsto travel to the island of Biscany. She is sure she will be looked after there by handsome Bevil Royce, with whom she had had such as passionate love affair during his stay in London. But the pretty but penniless little typist had been merely a temporary whim of the worldly Bevil - and now he is engaged to the chic daughter of a wealthy and influential baronet.Then, through a strange act of fate, Thea finds herself under the protection of the new Governor of the Island. Charles Fettermore is a deeply embittered man who has his own reasons for wanting revenge on Bevil Royce. As she becomes the focus of a deadly rivalry between the two men, Thea realises that she will have to make a vital choice...

Hodder & Stoughton

Bitter Sweet

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

Blaze of Love

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins

When Sonia Gayle travels by sea to meet Harry, her fiancé, in the Belgian Congo, she turns her back on Revel Dacre, the most fascinating man on board. She soon discovers that Dacre is Harry's employer and one of the most influential men in the country. It is Revel's turn to take revenge, but in doing so he realises that Sonia is the only woman in the world for him.

Hodder & Stoughton

Enchanted Island

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins

He transforms her quiet world into a dazzling realm of money and success...but can she know what is really in his heart?Young Nicole loves her beautiful Mediterranean island paradise - until dashing composer Paul Quest looks deep into her eyes and promises to carry her away to his London penthouse. And so shy, tender Nicole tradesher blue jeans and rope-soled sandals for high fashion and the dizzying sophistication of Paul's elite social whirl. But even as her young heart thrills at the romance, the question burns: will Paul's love stand the test, or is she destined to become just another of his brief affairs?

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Escape to Love

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

For The Sake Of Love

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins

Carol leads a charmed life, adored by all who know her, but her glamorous, carefree world shatters around her when her fiancé is reported killed. Yet once jolted from her grief by a confession which questions Maurice's fidelity, she abruptly flings herself into a new, more alluring life.For cousin Judy, cast out from the family for her great betrayal, the path is not so clear. Conceived in loyalty, the outcome of her plans unleashes a train of events far removed from her aim, but exposes a truth quite faithful to her desire.

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Dark Secret Love

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

Desert Rapture

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins

Alexandra Forbes is a young and beautiful English girl working in wartime Cairo. When she decides to take a holiday in the magical old city of Damascus she has no idea of the dangers that await her there. Against an exotic setting worthy of the Arabian Nights Alexandra finds herself caught up in a whirlwhind of suspense and heart-breaking romance.

Hodder & Stoughton

Do Not Go My Love

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins

When dashing wealthy Vincent Gayland marries Christina over the objections of his mother Christina is beside herself with joy until a terrible accident cuts short their happiness - and perhaps their love. Though Chris' injuries aren't permanent they are debilitating enough to turn Vince towards Gail Bishop a fascinating and unscrupulous woman. And it is a liaison that Vince's mother is in favour of....

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Dark Corridor

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

Dear Loyalty

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

Dust of Dreams

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

The Enduring Flame

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins

A sweeping tale from the original Queen of Romance, originally published in 1929 and now available in eBook for the first time. Joanna is distraught when Richard leaves. It is difficult to be brave, knowing he is returning to his wife. The decision seemed right; but alone now, she writhes in the torment of separation. The vast wastes of snow and spruce stretch out into the black of the moonless Arctic night and Joanna loses herself in the overwhelming expanse...Suddenly, a sled pulls up to the cabin and stops. A man in furs jumps off and shakes back the hood to reveal a face that Joanna once knew... a face that now makes her heart beat faster in terror.

Hodder & Stoughton

Family Holiday

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins