Related to: 'Green Dolphin Country'

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

The Dean's Watch

Elizabeth Goudge
Authors:
Elizabeth Goudge

A rich and beautiful story, set in a quiet cathedral city.When cathedral dean Adam Ayscough encounters clockmaker Isaac Peabody, their unlikely friendship touches the lives of the entire community. Behind the dean's fearsome reputation lies a humble man crippled by shyness. Desperate to leave behind a lasting legacy of goodness, his only wishes are to serve God and his parishioners, and to be loved by his young and dissatisfied wife.Haunted by the memories of a miserable childhood, gifted clockmaker Isaac Peabody has spent a lifetime perfecting his craft and rejecting all belief in God.Despite their fundamental differences, both men find a common understanding, and discover that faith can come in many different guises.What readers are saying about THE DEAN'S WATCH'Goudge in the class of Victor Hugo, or Dickens' - 5 STARS'Beautifully written, simply couldn't put it down' - 5 STARS'An unforgettable book' - 5 STARS'Just plain delightful' - 5 STARS'A wonderful book, full of atmosphere' - 5 STARS'A must for all Goudge fans' - 5 STARS

Hodder & Stoughton

The Bird in the Tree

Elizabeth Goudge
Authors:
Elizabeth Goudge

Lucilla has spent a lifetime making the Hampshire estate of Damerosehay a tranquil haven for the Eliot family. When her favourite grandson, David, falls in love with an unsuitable woman Lucilla feels is unsuitable, she sees her most cherished ambitions put at risk. But can she persuade David and Nadine to put duty before love?

Hodder & Stoughton

The Herb of Grace

Elizabeth Goudge
Authors:
Elizabeth Goudge

The second in the classic trilogy about the Eliots of Damerosehay.War has left David Eliot a changed man. Returning to the family home, he slowly begins to put the pieces of his life together.Tormented by the failure of her love affair with David five years earlier, Nadine has misgivings about bringing her family to live in the enchanting old inn close to the Damerosehay estate.But as the tranquil Hampshire countryside casts its spell, both families come to discover a measure of peace and contentment.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Heart of the Family

Elizabeth Goudge
Authors:
Elizabeth Goudge

The third in the classic family saga about the Eliots of Damerosehay.Despite the success and acclaim he has found as an actor, David Eliot struggles with the demands of his career. His brittle conversation and seeming arrogance earn him the dislike of his new secretary, Sebastian Weber.But when Sebastian visits David's family home, he discovers a different side to his employer. As Damerosehay and its inhabitants weave their magic, Sebastian slowly begins to lay his own demons to rest.

Hodder & Stoughton

Gentian Hill

Elizabeth Goudge
Authors:
Elizabeth Goudge

Unable to bear the prospect of a life at sea, young Anthony O'Connell deserts his ship at Torquay and escapes into the Devonshire countryside under a new name. When Stella Sprigg, adopted daughter of a local farmer, encounters 'Zachary', the pair instantly know they are destined to be together. Intertwined with the local legend of St. Michael's Chapel, Stella and Zachary's story takes them from the secluded Devonshire valley to the perilous Mediterranean seas and finally to the poverty and squalor of eighteenth-century London.

Hodder & Stoughton

A City of Bells

Elizabeth Goudge
Authors:
Elizabeth Goudge

Returning injured from the Boer War, Jocelyn Irvin travels to the quiet cathedral town of Torminster. Welcomed there by his young cousin Hugh Anthony, his grandparents and their adopted daughter Henrietta, Jocelyn begins to rediscover his enjoyment of life.As he embraces old friendships and new relationships, Jocelyn becomes captivated by the mystery of writer Gabriel Ferranti, a man whose unexplained disappearance months before has cast a shadow which only his return can lift.A charming story of love, family and laying to rest ghosts of the past.What readers are saying about Elizabeth Goudge'Miss Goudge is a born storyteller' - 5 STARS'I wish I had discovered Elizabeth Goudge a long time ago!' - 5 STARS'One of the greatest storytellers of our time' - 5 STARS'Her writing is unique' - 5 STARS'Elizabeth Goudge is an author par excellence' - 5 STARS

Hodder & Stoughton

Towers in the Mist

Elizabeth Goudge
Authors:
Elizabeth Goudge
Hodder & Stoughton

The White Witch

Elizabeth Goudge
Authors:
Elizabeth Goudge
Hodder & Stoughton

The Rosemary Tree

Elizabeth Goudge
Authors:
Elizabeth Goudge

Michael Stone was once a famous author. That was before he went to prison. Now, recently released, Michael needs a new beginning. Weighed down by failure and despair, the town of Silverbridge seems too offer him a quiet, rural escape from the past. Kind, gentle vicar John Wentworth takes Michael under his wing, and introduces him to his family and friends. At the vicarage, John's inexplicably discontented wife Daphne brings up their daughters. Bedridden Harriet, John's former nanny, deals impatiently with a world to which she cannot actively participate. At the family home, Belmaray, Aunt Maria is burdened by the worry of a failing estate. And at the grim little town school is fiery teacher Mary O'Hara, determined to foster change. A story of courage and community, set in the beautiful Devonshire countryside.

A N Wilson

A. N. Wilson was born in North Staffordshire, and taught literature for seven years at New College Oxford, where he won the Chancellor's English Essay Prize and the Ellerton Prize. He is the author of over twenty novels, and as many works of non-fiction. His biography of Tolstoy won the Whitbread Prize in 1988. His biography of Queen Victoria was published to critical acclaim. He is also the author of The Victorians and of God's Funeral, an account of how the Victorians lost their faith. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and a Member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He lives in London, and is the father of three daughters.

Adélaïde de Clermont-Tonnerre

This is Adélaïde de Clermont-Tonnerre's second novel. Her first, Fourrure, won five literary prizes in France. Le Dernier des Nôtres was the winner of both the Académie Francaise Grand Prix du Roman and the 2016 inaugural Filigranes prize, awarded to the book with the widest general appeal. It was on the longlist for the 2016 Renaudot prize, on the shortlist of four for the 2016 Landerneau prize, longlisted for the Prix de Flore.

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.

Anthony Trevelyan

Anthony Trevelyan was born in Lancashire. He read English at Trinity College, Oxford, before going on to further studies at Lancaster University. Currently he lives with his wife near Manchester, where he takes part in performance events such as Flim Nite and First Draft. He works as a teacher of English and Creative Writing at a sixth form college in Stockport. His first novel, The Weightless World, was published by Galley Beggar Press in 2015 and was longlisted for the 2016 Desmond Elliott Prize.

Baroness Orczy

Baroness Orczy was the daughter of a musician. Educated in Paris and Brussels, she then studied art in London, where she exhibited some of her work at the Royal Academy. THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL was the first success in her long writing career which encompassed both plays and novels.

Benedict Wells

Benedict Wells was born in 1984 in Munich. At the age of six, he started his journey through three Bavarian boarding schools. Upon graduating school in 2003, he moved to Berlin, where he decided against an academic education and instead started to dedicate his time to writing. In 2016 he won the European Union Prize for Literature for his third novel, The End of Loneliness, which has been in the German bestseller list for over a year. After years of living in Barcelona, Wells has recently returned to Berlin.

Beth Corby

Beth Corby lives in Wales with her husband and children. Where There's a Will is her debut novel.

Emily Phillips

Emily Phillips' two main life goals have always been: to write a book and to have a baby. As Grazia's Features Director, she's helped change the law to close the pay gap, written on everything from over-committing to egg donation, and interviewed the likes of Amy Poehler and Jane Birkin. Her career highlight was when Jamie Dornan told her (while taking his top off) that his murderous character in The Fall would've found her 'right up his street'. She lives in London with her husband and two cats.Her first novel, TRYING, is a hugely funny and searingly honest comedy about what to expect when you're not expecting.

Emma Henderson

Emma Henderson was educated at Godolphin and Latymer School, London, Somerville College, Oxford and Yale University, Connecticut. She wrote blurbs for Penguin books for two years, then spent a decade teaching English in comprehensive schools and further education colleges, before moving to the French Alps where, for six years, she ran a ski and snowboard lodge. She now lives in Derbyshire and is a lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Keele University. GRACE WILLIAMS SAYS IT LOUD was her first novel. The Valentine House is her second novel.

Fiona Mitchell

Fiona Mitchell is an award-winning writer and has worked as a journalist for many years. She spent almost three years living in Singapore and now lives in London with her husband and daughter. The Maid's Room is her first novel.

Gavin Extence

Gavin Extence lives in Sheffield with his wife and children. He has written two previous novels, the Richard and Judy bestseller, THE UNIVERSE VERSUS ALEX WOODS and THE MIRROR WORLD OF MELODY BLACK, which was described as 'a cross between Bridget Jones' Diary and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' by a Simon Mayo Book Club reviewer.