Related to: 'How to Forget'

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

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
Hodder & Stoughton

The Enchantress

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

Escape to Love

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

For The Sake Of Love

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

The Lonely Heart

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins

An enthralling story from the 100-million-copybestselling Queen of Romance, first published in 1930 and now available ineBook for the first time.

Hodder & Stoughton

Fever of Love

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

Figs in Frost

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins

Lucia marries young, yielding more to her parents urgings than the dictates ofher heart. As the years go by, she grows to despise her brutish, egotisticalhusband - finding contentment only in raising her two young daughters. Thensuddenly, Lucia falls gloriously in love, discovering the tenderness and blissshe has never even dared to dream of. And so her husband fights back with theonly weapon he has - forcing Lucia to choose between the children she cherishedand the man she loves...

Hodder & Stoughton

The First Long Kiss

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins

A captivating tale from the 100-million-copy bestselling Queen of Romance, first published in 1953 and now available for the first time in eBook. Gemma Grantham and Bette Dickens decide to have a really luxurious holiday. Longing for romance they move into a suite at the fabulous Hotel Splendide.Then to add excitement to their joy, Gemma pretends to be an heiress and falls into the clutches of Rudy Shore, a handsome fortune seeker.Adventure follows adventure, and although heartbreak threatens, love is destined to find a way...

Hodder & Stoughton

The Cyprus Love Affair

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins

A sweeping sun-drenched love story from the original Queen of Romance first published in 1969 and now available for the first time in eBook. When pretty young Lucie Gresham takes a job as companion to the mother of rich shipping magnate Adrian Ollivent she also realises her long-held wish to visit the beautiful island of Cyprus.Lucie finds the island as enchanting as she had hoped and Mrs Ollivent a pleasant and kindly old lady but also finds herself falling in love with Adrian. He is not a happy man and displays little affection towards her so Lucie determines to discover what has made him this way. She finds much pain and unhappiness has to be endured before the complete truth is finally exposed.

Hodder & Stoughton

Dark Secret Love

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins

After eleven years of marriage Christina faces the facts - she has left her husband and children and is nearing the day of her divorce. As she recalls the factors that led up to her break-up with Charles and her passionate new attachment to Philip she discovers in a flash the truth about herself.Her confidence is shattered. It is as though - on the point of slaking her thirst at the well of her new passion - she has discovered something venemous at the bottom of the cup.

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....

Hodder & Stoughton

Dance in the Dust

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

Dark Corridor

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins

A captivating love story from the 100-million copy bestselling Queen of Romance - originally published in 1974 and now available for the first time in eBook. Corisande Gilroy is engaged to the most wonderful man in the world - handsome, debonair Martin.But when Corrie meets him at the hotel in Madeira for a holiday, he isn't there. His room is empty, his suitcase only half unpacked - it is as if he vanished into thin air. There is no trace of him despite all the efforts of the local police.Faced with this mystery, Corrie is plunged into an agony of love and fear. Has she lost Martin to the dark corridor that has haunted her dreams?

Hodder & Stoughton

Dear Loyalty

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins

A sweeping love story from the original Queen of Romance, originally published in 1939 and now available for the first time in eBook. Edgar Lorrimar's personal secretary Lucie has all the qualities which he admires in a woman and which his son despises. "Crash" Lorrimar is a playboy... currently in love with the gold-digging Amanda Portlake. But everything is about to change for Lucie and Crash forever. Because, knowing that he is dying, Edgar has made some very special changes to his will.

Hodder & Stoughton

Dust of Dreams

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins

A captivating love story from the 100-million copy bestselling Queen of Romance, originally published in 1941 and now available for the first time in eBook. It begins on her father's Singapore plantation. There destiny brings the lovely Signa Manton face to face with the two men - Ivor and Blake - who will shape her future. She marries Ivor, only to be forced by his cruelty into living a lie. Through the hurt that follows - taking her to a long-lost sister in London and a fabulous treasure that will cause her deep pain - she finds in Blake a truer friend than she had ever known. Despite the monstrous husband who has shattered her dreams, will Fate give her a second chance? Could Blake ever be hers?

Hodder & Stoughton

The Enduring Flame

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

Family Holiday

Denise Robins
Authors:
Denise Robins

A captivating love story from the 100-million-copy bestselling Queen of Romance, first published in 1937 and now available for the first time in eBook. Summer brings the holiday with Guy and the children - just like every other year. But it also brings that chance meeting with Blake Randall, the young officer Clare had loved so deeply and yet so fleetingly all those years ago in a wartime hospital.He has not become boring like Guy, the kindly but unexciting doctor she married. Blake has retained the spark of youth; the spark Clare still feels within herself...