Related to: 'Song of Rhanna'

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.

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Harry's Game

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour
Hodder & Stoughton

Modern Korea: All That Matters

Andrew Salmon
Authors:
Andrew Salmon

In no nation on earth has history accelerated with such speed as in Korea. A medieval dynasty at the end of the 19th century, it underwent a traumatic colonization, then, in its hour of liberation was divided by the great powers at the end of World War II. Devastated by a fratricidal war, the peninsula has remained divided ever since.South Korea is the greatest national success story of the 20th century. From the ashes of war, it transformed itself, against the odds - and against much advice - into an industrial powerhouse and thriving democracy. Now a high-tech wonderland, it is undergoing social and cultural transformations that add further layers to its dynamic DNA.North Korea is an economic, social and political disaster, successful only at totalitarianism. Having transmogrified from a blood-and-iron communist dictatorship into a bizarre, neo-fascist monarchy, it is a black hole at the heart of Asia. Engulfed by paranoia, the regime presides over a malnourished populace, a 1.1 million man army and a nuclear arsenal. From nuclear missiles to Samsung smartphones; from assassins to salarymen; from Kim Il-sung to Psy; this is the extraordinary story of the flashpoint peninsula that dominates talk in boardrooms and newsrooms. Korea, the author argues, provides two stark benchmarks for national development: Epic success and catastrophic failure. And its final chapter has yet to be written.

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The Love Detective

Alexandra Potter
Authors:
Alexandra Potter

'In a way, I'm a bit of a love detective. Because what's a greater mystery than love?'Meet Ruby Miller. A writer who makes happy-ever-afters happen. Until she discovers her fiance is a lying cheat and loses her faith in love. So when her sister invites her on a beach holiday to Goa to forget about him, Ruby jumps on a plane . . . and into an extraordinary adventure.Stolen bags, a runaway sister and a handsome American stranger sweep Ruby into a magical mystery tour across India. Amid fortresses and fortune tellers, and a whirlwind of weddings, she uncovers fascinating stories of love, lost and found.But as the mysteries deepen, secrets are revealed that turn Ruby's life upside down. And what started as a journey to find her sister, becomes a journey to find herself - and love - again.

Hodder & Stoughton

How to Survive Outdoors: Teach Yourself

Jason Polley
Authors:
Jason Polley
Hodder & Stoughton

King's Acre

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser
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
Hodder & Stoughton

Kinvara Summer

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser
Hodder & Stoughton

Kinvara Wives

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser
Hodder & Stoughton

Storm Over Rhanna

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser

The islanders grieved for Mark James, their popular minister, who had lost his family so tragically. They were glad when he found solace in the company of Rhanna's pretty new young doctor, Megan Jenkins. Recently, however, she has been cool towards him, as if she was hiding some dark secret.The calm of the island was shattered by a fearsome storm; in great peril, the lifeboat took to the sea in response to distress signals from a luxury yacht. On board was a man who held the key to Megan's mysterious past, and her heart would be torn between this glamorous playboy and the minister who needed her so much. The sixth boo kin the Rhanna series.

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

Since childhood they have been inseparable friends: Lorn, Lewis, Ruth and Rachel. The close-knit community of Rhanna has watched them grow up - playing and fighting together, seeing each other through the bad times. But now they are grown and they face a harsher world, and all the problems of love and loss for which their tranquil Hebridean upbringing cnanot prepare them. Yet all four know that whatever might happen, however far they drift apart, they are still and always children of Rhanna.

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

Rhanna at War

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser
Teach Yourself

The Sum of You

Alan Graham
Authors:
Alan Graham

Are you an explorer, an artist, a gambler, a scientist, an environmentalist, or a philosopher?In this groundbreaking book, Dr Alan Graham argues that in fact these six different personality traits are present in all of us, to a greater or lesser degree. He provides a number of practical questionnaires and exercises which will help us to understand ourselves.Although we don't realise it, these six different personality styles are underpinned by our approach to and understanding mathematics. Some if this knowledge is innate in all of us, some of it is learnt in school, and some of it you may not learn until you read this remarkable book.

John Murray

Mistaken

Neil Jordan
Authors:
Neil Jordan

'I had been mistaken for him so many times that when I heard he had died it was as if part of myself had died too.' Kevin Thunder grew up with a double - a boy so uncannily like him that they were mistaken for each other at every turn. As children in 1960s Dublin , one lived next to Bram Stoker's house, haunted by an imagined Dracula, the other in the more refined spaces of Palmerston Park. Though divided, like the city itself, by background and class, they shared the same smell, the same looks, and perhaps, as he comes to realize, the same soul. They exchange identities when it suits them, as their lives take them to England and America, and find that taking on another's personality can lead to darker places than either had imagined. Neil Jordan's long-awaited new novel is an extraordinary achievement - a comedy of manners at the same time as a Gothic tragedy, a thriller and an elegy. It offers imaginative entertainment of the highest order.

Teach Yourself

Complete New Testament Greek

Gavin Betts
Authors:
Gavin Betts
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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.

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A Rhanna Mystery

Christine Marion Fraser
Authors:
Christine Marion Fraser

It is 1968, and after twenty years of marriage, farmer Fergus McKenzie and his beloved Kirsteen are about to be parted for the first time as Kirsteen sets off for Glasgow to help nurse a friend's mother. Fergus knows he'll miss her more than anything, but with his friends and family around him, and his faithful Border collie Heinz at his side, he reckons he can survive. But when a visitor appears dramatically at the farmhouse in the shape of a beautiful young woman, routine turns into chaos and gives rise to avid speculation throughout the close-knit community. They are all fascinated by the mystery guest - none more so than Fergus, whose emotions are thrown into turmoil as he is forced choose between loyalty to Kirsteen and the tempting attractions of youth, while his passions are played out under the watchful eyes of the islanders.