Related to: 'Science and Spiritual Practices'

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 Paperbacks

High Street

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
Coronet

The Science Delusion

Rupert Sheldrake
Authors:
Rupert Sheldrake

Freeing the Spirit of EnquiryThe Science Delusion is the belief that science already understands the nature of reality. The fundamental questions are answered, leaving only the details to be filled in. In this book (published in the US as Science Set Free), Dr Rupert Sheldrake, one of the world's most innovative scientists, shows that science is being constricted by assumptions that have hardened into dogmas. The 'scientific worldview' has become a belief system. All reality is material or physical. The world is a machine, made up of dead matter. Nature is purposeless. Consciousness is nothing but the physical activity of the brain. Free will is an illusion. God exists only as an idea in human minds, imprisoned within our skulls.Sheldrake examines these dogmas scientifically, and shows persuasively that science would be better off without them: freer, more interesting, and more fun.In The God Delusion Richard Dawkins used science to bash God, but here Rupert Sheldrake shows that Dawkins' understanding of what science can do is old-fashioned and itself a delusion. 'Rupert Sheldrake does science, humanity and the world at large a considerable favour.'The Independent'Certainly we need to accept the limitations of much current dogma and keep our minds open as we reasonably can. Sheldrake may help us do so through this well-written, challenging and always interesting book.' Financial Times

Hodder & Stoughton

For The Love Of A Sister

Meg Hutchinson
Authors:
Meg Hutchinson
Hodder Paperbacks

Calico Road

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

Calico Road runs through a tiny Lancashire hamlet up on the edge of the moors, miles from anywhere. Its folk are an independent breed - and in 1827 they are a thorn in the side of the vicious mill owner in the valley below.Toby Fletcher's father ignored his bastard son while alive. Now Toby is the new owner of the rambling old inn, an unwitting keeper of its secrets. Then Meg Staley comes to Calico, a woman who was strong enough to survive one tragedy, but found it harder to withstand a second blow. Toby finds her wandering the moors, cold and starving, and brings her back to the inn.Working there, Meg starts to rebuild her life and find a fragile happiness. But then the secrets of Calico Road come crashing down on her and those she has grown to love . . .

Hodder Paperbacks

A Pennyworth of Sunshine

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

Bestselling saga author Anna Jacobs' novel of life in nineteenth century Lancashire and Australia.'Catherine Cookson fans will cheer.' - Peterborough Evening Telegraph Keara Michaels doesn't want to leave her family in Ireland, but fate sends her first to Lancashire, then across the sea to Australia, pregnant and penniless. And Theo Mullane, the man who loves her, is married, with an ailing baby son, so cannot follow her as he longs to.Mark Gibson leaves Lancashire to avoid marriage. But gold prospecting is a dangerous pursuit, and when his gentle young wife dies in childbirth, his father-in-law kidnaps the baby. So Mark runs away again, this time to Western Australia, where he employs Keara in his country inn.But danger threatens them all, even in the bush, as Keara searches for her lost sisters, Theo comes looking for the woman he loves, and Mark at last confronts his past.

Coronet

The Deverell Woman

Meg Hutchinson
Authors:
Meg Hutchinson
Coronet

Down Weavers Lane

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

Emmy Carter's mother is a prostitute - and her life has made Emmy determined to avoid the same fate. But Emmy is beautiful, so attracts unwanted attention; her mother's protector has his eye on her, as does evil Marcus Armistead, her employer's nephew. Marcus is excited by Emmy's virginity and has her kidnapped, but Emmy hits him over the head and escapes. Marcus, futher enraged, kills her mother and becomes even more determined to rape Emmy, but the combined efforts of the local parson and Emmy's young suitor manage to keep her safe from harm. Finally Emmy sees Marcus get his just desserts, finds out who her father was, and attains the respectability she has so longed for.

Hodder Paperbacks

Lancashire Legacy

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

At eighteen Cathie longs for more than life as a settler in the Australian bush. She accepts her uncle's offer to send her to England and runs away from her family, not realising he is using her to get revenge on his sister Liza. Attacked at the docks in Liverpool, Cathie takes refuge with the man who saved her, a man who has his own troubles. But as she slowly regains her memory and meets her Lancashire relatives, she must confront the legacy of her mother's past. And even in 1876, the same wealthy families who forced her mother to leave Lancashire are still powerful enough to threaten Cathie's happiness and safety, as well as that of anyone close to her.

Hodder Paperbacks

The Judas Touch

Meg Hutchinson
Authors:
Meg Hutchinson

The Number One bestseller.When Tam's brother Benjie is wrongly accused of theft, and locked in a prison cell, his sister makes a solemn promise that she will not let the little lad down. But Fate makes her break her word almost immediately: Benjie is transported to Australia and Tam must embark upon an epic journey to find him.Friendless and penniless, she makes her way to Bristol, finding employment as a lady's maid on board the Porpoise, a ship bound for the colonies. The voyage is long and perilous and Tam's life is threatened by two depraved seamen; though First Mate James Allen offers her his protection, she cannot return his love. For Tamar's heart already belongs to another seafaring man - Captain Nathan Burford, who, like Tamar, haunts the seas looking for lost loved ones.Under the blazing Australian sun, Tam must endure hardship and cruelty, but she also encounters generosity and friendship from unexpected quarters on her quest. Will one poor girl right a terrible wrong and rescue her brother from the Judas Touch?

Hodder Paperbacks

Our Polly

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

Little Billy is the light of Polly's life - it's for her son's sake that she puts up with an unkind mother-in-law and an isolated farm. Then Billy is knocked down by a car, his father killed attempting to save his life, and Polly, cast off by her husband's family, is left with a child who may never walk or talk again. Polly's own family, the Kershaws, provide all the support they can, but they are unable to outmanoeuvre the malicious Dr Browning-Baker , who is determined to have Billy taken away from his mother, depriving him of the exercises and stimulation that are his only hope. Forced to flee to the Fylde coast, Polly and Billy find that their future may lie with another damaged family - an ex-Army captain whose First World War marriage was a terrible mistake, and his daughter, who has never recovered from the hostility of the mother she loves. But danger threatens their fragile happiness...

Hodder Paperbacks

Like No Other

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs
Hodder & Stoughton

Bitter Seed

Meg Hutchinson
Authors:
Meg Hutchinson

Having suffered much cruelty at the hands of her father, Isabel Kenton is shocked to hear after his death that he was not her real father. She inherits their house while her twin brother Mark is left the family steel works. When World War I breaks out, Mark joins the RAF, and the management of the business is left in Isabel's hands, which is not welcomed by the town's industrialists. She makes many enemies and has to struggle to keep her business alive. After much unhappiness, she finally finds love with the manager of a local foundry as well as the identity of her real father.

Hodder Paperbacks

No Place of Angels

Meg Hutchinson
Authors:
Meg Hutchinson

Carys Beddows has never understood why her mother hates her so much. Certainly jealousy plays a part: Maria believes that young Ryder Tempal would be hers with her pretty daughter out of the way, and throws Carys out of the house to fend for herself. Befriended by Alice, a young woman in domestic service, Carys herself takes a job as a housemaid and is lucky enough to find in the mistress of the house a friend and patron. Maria continues with her vicious schemes until fate intervenes to punish her wicked ways; but for Carys, the reward of virtue is lasting love.

Hodder & Stoughton

Hallam Square

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

Hodder Paperbacks

Ridge Hill

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

Book threein the heartwarming Lancashire-based Gibson series by beloved saga author Anna Jacobs. It's 1848 and preparations are underway for Annie Gibson's wedding to Bilsden's wealthy millwoner, Frederick Hallam. But not everyone is as pleased as they are. Frederick's daughter, Beatrice, is horrified at the prospect of a new attractive stepmother arriving at the house on Ridge Hill. Even Annie's own family feels threatened. The only person who seems pleased is Tom, Annie's brother. Soon, however, real troubles begin to pile up for the Gibsons. Tom's happiness is jeopardised by the news that he is father to a child he never knew about. Annie's son, William, is devastated to find out that his real father is not the man who brought him up. And even Annie's joy cannot last. Because someone has uncovered the secrets she has fought so hard to keep hidden...

Hodder Paperbacks

Salem Street

Anna Jacobs
Authors:
Anna Jacobs

John Humphrys

John Humphrys has reported from all over the world for the BBC and presented its frontline news programmes on both radio and television, in a broadcasting career spanning forty years. He has won a string of national awards and been described as a 'national treasure'. He owned a dairy farm for ten years and has homes in Greece and London.

Joyce Meyer

Joyce Meyer is the bestselling author of more than 100 inspirational books, including The Power of Simple Prayer, Approval Addiction, Power Thoughts and Battlefield of the Mind. Joyce's 'Enjoying Everyday Life' radio and television programmes are broadcast around the world, and she travels extensively conducting conferences.

Melvyn Bragg

Melvyn Bragg is a writer and broadcaster. His novels include The Hired Man, for which he won the Time/Life Silver Pen Award, Without a City Wall, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, The Soldier's Return, winner of the WHSmith Literary Award, A Son of War and Crossing the Lines, both of which were longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, A Place in England, which was longlisted for the Lost Man Booker Prize, and most recently Grace and Mary. He has also written several works of non-fiction, the most recent being The Book of Books about the King James Bible. He lives in London and Cumbria.

Nick Page

Nick Page is the author of over sixty books, including The Bible Book, What Happened to the Ark of the Covenant and Other Bible Mysteries, The HarperCollins Atlas of Bible History (editor) and most recently, THE WRONG MESSIAH. Follow Nick Page on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/NickofEynsham and visit his website at: http://nickpage.co.uk