Related to: 'Play Fair with Love'

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

To the Stars

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

The Uncertain Joy

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

Where Duty Lies

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

With All My Love

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins

A compelling classic romance from the inimitable Patricia Robins, first published in 1963 and now available for the first time in eBook.It's 1962 and Jacqueline is fighting the temptation to ignore moral standards and conventions with her fiance, Chris. Confused by her conflicting feelings, she accepts the offer of a three-week working holiday in Switzerland. Away from home and the steadying influence of Chris, she finds herself attracted to the handsome Antoine...

Hodder & Stoughton

Forever

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins

A compelling classic romance from the inimitable Patricia Robins, first published in 1967 and now available for the first time in eBook.Until she met the handsome staff psychiatrist, Bill Aden, Noni Brisbane had been content with her loveless marriage to Philip, a top-flight surgeon. Then, through Bill, she learned that real love was possible forever, despite tragedy and hardship.

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There Is But One

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

Topaz Island

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins

When Phillida Bethel takes her first holiday job as her mother's help tobeautiful Suzanne Kingley, she never guesses what lies in store for heron the exotic Topaz Island. Danger, romance, adventure and excitementare to come her way in full measure.Inexperienced as she is, she has no yardstick by which to assess thefascinating American boy, Jeff Aymon. But it is the English student,Greg Somerville, who seems the only safe haven when this world of beautysuddenly becomes sinister...A compelling classic romance from the inimitable Patricia Robins, firstpublished in 1965 and now available for the first time in eBook.

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The Long Wait

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins

Allerton Manor was the only home Tammy had ever known - and the Allerton family treated her as their own. But when she realised that her love for Dick Allerton had changed from the careless affection of childhood to the mature love of a woman, she was heartbroken when Dick still treated her as his little sister. When the final blow fell, and she thought she had lost not only Dick, but the only other thing that made her life bearable, she was in despair.

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Love Me Tomorrow

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

Love Must Wait

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins

Gina longed to share her life with the man she loved, but Charles told her love must wait. Gina must learn sophistication, devote herself to becoming a suitable wife for a fashionable author. Charles's apparent indifference saddened and frightened Gina, for she was horrified by the new Charles who she couldn't understand. In bewilderment, she turned to Peter for help and by doing so resolved her problems and found the love for which she had waited.

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Forsaken

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins
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Fulfilment

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

Heaven in our Hearts

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins

'Always love life' was the message Briony Stone's first sweetheart left with her before he was killed in an air crash.It seems strange that the same thought should be voiced by Robert Baker, the young vet whom she has known such a short time, but to whom she is so unaccountably drawn. Briony, now married to the snobbish, unimaginative Charles, realises too late that she has disregarded her lover's advice, running away from life into marriage with a man she likes and respects but doesn't love. What is she to do?

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Laugh on Friday

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins

For Ann Elgar, the chance to work in a Swiss resort at Madame Menton's ski club is a golden opportunity. Luc Menton, her employer's son, makes her especially welcome and soon it is clear that his affection is turning into love.But Anne is spellbound by the sophisticated French actor, Paul Duret who makes no secret of his infatuation with her. The more Luc and Madame Menton warn her against Paul, the greater becomes her desire to be with him...A compelling classic romance from the inimitable Patricia Robins, first published in 1969 and now available for the first time in eBook.

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The Legend

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins

Jennifer Ames was not beautiful but she had a certain something that kept Peter Barrington in willing thraldom for ten years. One day they hoped to marry, and to speed the happy day, Jenny takes a job as governess to Lord Barclay's twin children, Michael and Marie.When Jenny arrives at the Worcestershire manor house, she find herself engulfed in mystery. Why does the tall, good-looking Derek both fascinate and frighten her?A compelling classic romance from the inimitable Patricia Robins, first published in 1951 and now available for the first time in eBook.

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Awake My Heart

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins

What happens when a young man and a young woman, each bitterly distrustful of the opposite sex, not only meet but find themselves sharing the same country house? At first Luisa, returning home from abroad, finds herself hating Martyn Saunders, a young vet injured in the war. Martyn becomes engaged to Luisa's best friend, and too late he and Luisa discover their love for one another. First loyalty, then an accident, contrive to keep them apart, and when reconciliation seems likely, another woman from Martyn's past interferes, until love at last finds a solution to all their problems.

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The Constant Heart

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins
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The Fair Deal

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins

Eve has been brought up at Corderhay Park by her adoptive parents Jack and Antoinette Corderhay, along with her younger half-sister Anne-Marie. As they grow up, Anne-Marie becomes a spoilt, wilful young woman who will stop at nothing to get her own way.During a holiday in Paris, Anne-Marie makes a desperate phone call which results in Eve rushing over to France. What she discovers has life-changing consequences for their family and friends, and especially for Eve herself.It looks as though once again Anne-Marie has taken her happiness with no thought for anyone else...A compelling classic romance from the inimitable Patricia Robins, first published in 1952 and now available for the first time in eBook.

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The Foolish Heart

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins

Mary Bradbourne's aunt brought her up after her parents died. When she was ten, her aunt had a son, Jackie, who was left with a mental handicap as the result of an accident. Unselfish and affectionate, Mary has dedicated her life to caring for him.But then she meets Dr Paul Deal. As her feelings for him intensify, she is faced with a dilemma. How will she be able to care for her cousin when she knows that she must follow her heart?A compelling classic romance from the inimitable Patricia Robins, first published in 1956 and now available for the first time in eBook.

Hodder & Stoughton

Forbidden

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins

Sue is trying to forget a broken love affair when she meets Ross Bryant. Handsome and successful, he is everything any woman could want -- but Sue isn't just any woman. Although she allows Ross to make love to her, her whole being is still wrapped-up in the tortured affair with the married Paul.Bewildered and shattered, Sue contemplates the two men in her life -- the darkly handsome Ross, the debonair Paul who desperately wants her back. But how does a woman choose, or reject? How can she settle for a love less true and passionate than the one she knew?