Related to: 'Rhanna at War'

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

King's Acre

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser

Evelyn Grant has started to come to terms with the loss of her first love, Johnny, but the Grant family are overshadowed by the unwelcome reappearance of a figure from Jamie's past and by the terrible stories of the war told by soldiers returning from the trenches.Among those fighting for King and Country is Gillan Forbes, the son of the big house, on whose friendship Evelyn increasingly relies and who still hopes to win her love. But it is handsome Gordon Highlander, Davie Grainger, who captures Evelyn's heart, sweeping her up in a whirlwind of passion that takes her to the heights of happiness and to the depths of despair . . . Davie is a dangerous man to love . . .'Christine Marion Fraser writes characters so real they almost leap out of the page...you would swear she must have grown up with them' Sun

Hodder & Stoughton

King's Croft

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser

When Jamie King Grant, the travelling man, gives up his wandering life to wed Maggie McKenzie, their small farm is laughingly re-named King's Croft. There they raise their family - straitlaced Nellie, lovesick Murn, lively Mary - and Evelyn, their youngest daughter.Gifted and loving, Evelyn finds herself torn between two different worlds and two very different men. Johnny Burns, a child of the farmtouns like herself, has been her first love. Gillan Forbes is the son of the big house, and heir to the Lands of Rothiedrum. Neither man makes any secret of his love for her - and the time comes when Evelyn has to make a choice . . .'Christine Marion Fraser writes characters so real they almost leap out of the page...you would swear she must have grown up with them' Sun

Hodder & Stoughton

Kinvara

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser
Hodder & Stoughton

Kinvara Affairs

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser

It is 1936 and the children of Kinvara are growing up fast. Vaila Sutherland, a born romantic, vows she will never marry until she finds a love as deep as her father's for her mother. Two young men make a play for her heart - will she choose the right one?Andy Sutherland, Vaila's half brother, finds new doors opening despite the cerebral palsy that he has suffered since birth; while nine-year-old Essie, the joy of her mother's life, revels in a world of make-believe and wonder. Cruel Joshua Bowman continues his reign of terror but, as they grow up, his children find ways of thwarting his wishes. When Miriam, too, at last defies him, it has tragic consequences.Heartbreak and horror mingle with tears of joy and, as always, the villagers fight and laugh their way through this enchanting novel, adding many colourful contributions in their unique and inimitable way.'Christine Marion Fraser writes characters so real they almost leap out of the page...you would swear she must have grown up with them' Sun

Hodder & Stoughton

Kinvara Summer

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser

It is 1931 and the villagers of Kinvara are welcoming newcomers into their close-knit community. Schoolteacher Catherine Dunbar takes a great interest in the welfare and education of Andy Sutherland, who has cerebral palsy - and comes to have more than a passing interest in his father, Rob. Joshua Bowman is a less popular arrival, as he tries to force his strict principles and beliefs on his neighbours; and his wife Miriam - a native of Kinvara - has a dramatic effect on Johnny Lonely, to whom she was once married.But it is mainly on the children of Kinvara that the novel focuses, as they delight in the freedom and adventure of the beautiful coastal area, and grapple with the first stirrings of young and innocent love.'Christine Marion Fraser writes characters so real they almost leap out of the page...you would swear she must have grown up with them' Sun

Hodder & Stoughton

Kinvara Wives

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser
Hodder & Stoughton

Storm Over Rhanna

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser
Hodder & Stoughton

Rhanna

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser

On a bitter winter night in 1923, farmer Fergus McKenzie loses his beloved Helen in childbirth. Overcome by grief, he shuns his oldest friend, Dr Lachlan, convinced he could have done more to save her. More tragically still, he refuses to see his baby daughter, Shona. Although sympathetic to poor Fergus, the islanders resolve to gather round to give Shona the care she needs, until her father comes to his senses. But as the years pass, Fergus fails to change his mind, until Shona falls in love with Niall, the doctor's son.

Hodder & Stoughton

Children of Rhanna

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser
Hodder & Stoughton

Return To Rhanna

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser

After nineteen years on the mainland, Shona and Niall McLachlan come home to Rhanna with their pretty daughter, Ellie. In the years that have passed, the island has changed, but although tourists abound and some of the beloved old faces are missing, a new generation has taken their place and the friendly spirit of the islanders is as strong as ever.Shona knows that, at last, she has come home, and she has never been as happy . . . until sudden tragedy strikes and it seems as though her return to Rhanna has been blighted. Now she stands to lose everything, and everyone, she has ever cared for . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

Song of Rhanna

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser

Secure in the loving contentment of her marriage to Lorn, Ruth felt her happiness was complete. And she was thrilled to hear that her oldest friend, Rachel, planned a visit to Rhanna. Now a successful composer and concert violinist, Rachel was coming back to her native island for a summer's rest. To Ruth's surprise, Lorn was strangely unenthusiastic about their childhood friend's return. Rachel's arrival was to bring Ruth more heartache than she could ever have imagined, and would estrange her from the island community she loved. Yet no matter how far she travelled, the Song of Rhanna would always be calling her home . . .The fifth book in the popular series about Hebridean island life.

Hodder Paperbacks

Stranger on Rhanna

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser

Rachel Jodl returns to Rhanna and the security of home to escape from her hectic life as a concert violinist and from the pressures that have strained her marriage almost to breaking point. Here she meets Austrian Otto Klebb, a dark, striking man, also seeking refuge in Rhanna, whose charm and generous spirit quickly win him a special place in the hearts of all the islanders - especially Rachel's. Their love of music draw them to each other, but soon they come to share something much deeper. Only Rachel knows Otto's real reasons for coming to Rhanna - he has blood ties with the McKinnon clan to which she belongs. However, he is also the most renowned pianist in Europe. Jon looks at Rachel's growing fondness for Otto with jealous unease and when she announces she's pregnant, he refuses to believe the child is not Otto's. It takes a death and a revelation for Jon to return to his wife and child.

Hodder Paperbacks

A Rhanna Mystery

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser

A.L. Hlad

Alan Hlad, writing as A.L. Hlad, is a corporate executive turned writer who exhibits meticulous and fascinating research in his historical fiction. Alan is a seasoned conference speaker, and a member of the Historical Novel Society, Literary Cleveland, and the Akron Writers' Group. A runner and hiker, Alan lives in Ohio with his wife and children, along with their Golden Retrievers and the world's most persistent cat.

Amitav Ghosh

Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta and grew up in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India. He studied at the universities of Delhi and Oxford, has taught at a number of institutions and written for many magazines. The first novel in the Ibis trilogy, Sea of Poppies, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2008. In 2015, Amitav Ghosh was named as a finalist of the Man Booker International Prize.

Anna Jacobs

Anna Jacobs grew up in Lancashire and emigrated to Australia, but still visits the UK regularly to see her family and do research, something she loves. She is addicted to writing and figures she'll have to live to be 120 at least to tell all the stories that keep popping up in her imagination and nagging her to write them down. She's also addicted to her own hero, to whom she's been happily married for many years.She is the bestselling author of over eighty novels and has been shortlisted for several awards, and Pride of Lancashire won the Australian Romantic Book of the Year Award in 2006.You can find out more on her website, www.annajacobs.com or on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Anna.Jacobs.Books.

Barbara Samuel

Barbara Samuel is the bestselling author of more than 40 books. In 2012, she was inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall Of Fame, and she has won seven RITA awards (most recently in 2012) and her books have been published in more than a dozen countries. One of her recent women's fiction titles, The Lost Recipe for Happiness (written as Barbara O'Neal) was reprinted eight times, and her book How to Bake a Perfect Life was a Target Club pick in 2011.

Caitlin Davies

Caitlin Davies is a novelist, non-fiction author and award-winning journalist. Born in London in 1964, she started her writing career in Botswana, where she worked for the country's first tabloid newspaper, the Voice. She then became editor of the Okavango Observer, during which she was twice arrested and put on trial. Returning to England in 2003, she has worked as a teacher and freelance journalist and is currently a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the Victoria & Albert Museum.Bad Girls grew out of her longstanding interest in Holloway Prison, where she completed her teacher training in 1990. She was the only journalist to be given access to the prison and its archives during Holloway's closure in 2016. caitlindavies.co.uk@CaitlinDavies2

Ciara Geraghty

Ciara Geraghty is the author of five novels: Now That I've Found You, Saving Grace, Becoming Scarlett, Finding Mr Flood and Lifesaving for Beginners. She lives in Dublin with her husband, three children and dog.You can find out more at www.ciarageraghty.com, visit her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/CiaraGeraghtyBooks, or follow her on Twitter www.twitter.com/ciarageraghty.

Colleen Houck

Formerly a student at the University of Arizona Colleen Houck has worked as a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter for seventeen years. Tiger`s Curse is her first book, which has already received literary praise and digital success. Her self-published eBook claimed the no.1 spot on Kindle`s children`s best-seller list for seven weeks. She lives in Salem, Oregon, with her husband and a white stuffed tiger. Find out more on www.tigerscurse.com and connect with Colleen on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ColleenHouck.