Related to: 'The Runaways'

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

A compelling classic romance from the inimitable Patricia Robins, first published in 1957 and now available for the first time in eBook.The minute Charlotte sees Meridan Avebury, it causes such strong, passionate feelings that she believes it must be love at first sight. But Meridan is already engaged to Phillipa, who is dangerously ill. And while they don't deny their feelings for each other, Charlotte and Meridan are unwilling to take happiness at Phillipa's expense.

Hodder & Stoughton

With All My Love

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

Forever

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

There Is But One

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins

Gina and Charles Martin are young and passionately in love. Theirmarriage is perfect until Gina learns that she cannot have children.Her husband's failure to understand the effect this has on her causesher need for a baby to grow into an obsession. Gradually the youngcouple's relationship deteriorates until they are little more thanstrangers and their intense love little more than a memory.Gina hopes first to adopt a baby, then to foster a child, before indesperation seeking a solution outside the law...A compelling classic romance from the inimitable Patricia Robins, firstpublished in 1965 and now available for the first time in eBook.

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.

Hodder & Stoughton

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.

Hodder & Stoughton

Love Me Tomorrow

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins

When Samantha's father dies, she marries Ronnie Curtis, an up and coming authorwho loves her dearly. Samantha still yearns for Andrew, her student flame, but feelsRonnie will be able to support her brother, Seymour.Andrew comes back and Ronnie insists that Smantha finds out just what she feels.When Paula, an ex-girlfriend of Ronnie's tells lies to Andrew and tries to cause trouble for Ronnie, Samantha finds she must decide who she really cares for.

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.

Hodder & Stoughton

Forsaken

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

Fulfilment

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins

A sensitive, intensely dramatic story of a woman's search for fulfilment in love ... When her first marriage had gone on the rocks, she had sworn to herself it would never happen again. She and David had been so young, so unfitted to the monumental task of marriage and parenthood. The baby had died and so had the marriage. Now after six years of her second marriage she was again standing at the crossroads.

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?

Hodder & Stoughton

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.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Legend

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

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.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Constant Heart

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins

Tamily has won the love of handsome and amusing Dick Allenton, her childhood companion and heir to the Allenton estates. But her marriage to the charming but irresponsible Dick is rocked by his love affair with the sophisticated American Carol Holmer and Tamily's own growing affection for the Allenton bailiff, Adam Bond.When tragedy intervenes, Dick begins to realise where his heart really lies. But he does not anticipate the outcome of his fierce emotional entanglement with the determined Carol.A compelling classic romance from the inimitable Patricia Robins, first published in 1964 and now available for the first time in eBook.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Fair Deal

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

The Foolish Heart

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins
Hodder & Stoughton

Forbidden

Patricia Robins
Authors:
Patricia Robins