Related to: 'Rob Parsons: The Sixty Minute Father and The Sixty Minute Marriage'

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

Rob Parsons Omnibus: Sixty Minute Mother/Father/Marriage

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

Hodder & Stoughton

Rob Parsons: Heart of Success, Money Secret, Wisdom House

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton

Rob Parsons: The Sixty Minute Mother, The Sixty Minute Marriage

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

Hodder & Stoughton

Let Me Tell You A Story

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton

The Wisdom House

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

Rob Parsons, author of The Sixty Minute Grandparent and The Heart of Success, now a grandfather himself, shares some of the wisdom he's picked up down the years, from his own experiences and that of others he's met.You don't always have to learn the hard way.On the spur of the moment, the morning after the birth of one of his grandchildren, Rob Parsons wrote the baby a letter.And then Rob began to think about how he hoped he'd have the chance to talk with all his grandchildren as they grew. He imagined them coming into his study, settling into one of the two comfy armchairs in front of the fire and opening up about the challenges they were facing.Perhaps it would be when they were beginning their first job, buying their first house, getting married or starting a family. Or perhaps they'd talk long into the night, when their hearts were broken or friends had betrayed them. Perhaps he would have the chance to help them rebuild the dream that somebody had trodden on.'Come on in, take a seat - tell me what's been going on...'Rob knew he wouldn't have all the answers. But maybe he could help - just a little.(P)2017 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Hodder & Stoughton

The Sixty Minute Grandparent

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

'If you have children, buy this book for your parents now. If you are a grandparent, don't go near your grandchildren until you have read it!' Rosemary ConleyThere are many different kinds of grandparents - tired-out or over-eager, super-involved or unsure how to help, unwilling or ever-ready. In this simple book Rob Parsons will help you reach the common aspiration: to be the best grandparent that you can possibly be.- The baby stage: helping out without interfering - How to help your own children find their way as parents- Loving your grandchildren without spoiling them- When to intervene, and when to keep out of it- Finding your place within a blended family- Becoming invaluable (rather than insufferable) to your daughter-in-law

Hodder & Stoughton

What They Didn't Teach Me in Sunday School

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

A new edition of this best-selling inspirational book which is already an established classic. Some of the lessons learnt along the way will change forever the way we view ourselves, others and especially God. A book filled with fresh starts, new tomorrows and incredible hope.

Hodder & Stoughton

Loving Against the Odds

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton

The Money Secret

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

Practical and life-changing, THE MONEY SECRET will totally revolutionise your attitude to money and show how it can either be the source of freedom and happiness or a burden of guilt and debt. When you have finished this powerful story you will want to cut up your credit cards forever and rid yourself of the power of the banks and lenders and advertisers who dupe us all into a spending frenzy based on false promises and slick delusions. As well as offering solutions this book will challenge the status quo and question current spending habits. Rich or poor, we have all at some time felt in despair about money and its power over our lives. Rob Parsons shows a new way forward which will change your life, focus your priorities and put you back in control.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Sixty Minute Marriage

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

Take an hour to read a book that will change your marriage forever! Rob Parsons presents an action plan to revolutionise every relationship. Includes: Are affairs good for a marriage? - How to argue - effectively - Why many men say, 'My wife's not interested in sex' - Why cutting your credit card in half can save your marriage - How a divorce will affect your children.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Sixty Minute Mother

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

In THE SIXTY MINUTE MOTHER Rob Parsons turns his warm wisdom and wit to the subject of motherhood. Talking to a variety of mothers, including Dianne Parsons, from all backgrounds and situations (working, lone, home-based, mothers of babies, teenagers, adopted kids and so on) he has compiled a wonderfully inspirational book on the highs and lows of being a mother, with lots of fresh insights. In his usual style, and never forgetting the essential truth that men need to nurture their maternal instincts too, he has written another winner.

Hodder & Stoughton

Teenagers!

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton

The Sixty Minute Father

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton

The Heart of Success

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton

What Every Kid Wished their Parents Knew

Rob Parsons, Lloyd Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons, Lloyd Parsons

Rob Parsons teams up with his teen-age son, Lloyd, to write a warm and witty guide to parent/child communication. With cartoon illustrations.

Ali Knight

Ali Knight has worked as a journalist and sub-editor at the BBC, Guardian and Observer and helped to launch some of the Daily Mail and Evening Standard's most successful websites. She lives with her family in London.Visit Ali's website to find out more about her and her psychological thrillers at www.aliknight.co.uk and follow her on Twitter www.twitter.com/aliknightauthor.

Alice Ozma

Alice Ozma, a Rowan University graduate, lives surrounded by world-class libraries and bookstores in historical Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is passionate about literature, education and working with children. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/aliceozma, like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AliceOzma and find out more about her and The Reading Promise at www.makeareadingpromise.com.

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 sixty novels and has been shortlisted for several awards. Pride of Lancashire won the Australian Romantic Book of the Year Award in 2006, and The Trader's Wife is on the shortlist for the 2012 award. You can find out more on her website, www.annajacobs.com or on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Anna.Jacobs.Books.

Ayelet Waldman

Ayelet Waldman is the author of Red Hook Road, Love and Treasure and the New York Times bestseller Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities and Occasional Moments of Grace. Her novel Love and Other Impossible Pursuits was made into a film starring Natalie Portman. Her personal essays have been published in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, Vogue, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.She and her husband, the novelist Michael Chabon, live in Berkeley, California, with their four children.ayeletwaldman.comtwitter.com/ayeletwfacebook.com/ayeletwaldman

Beth Redman

Beth Redman is a writer and teacher who heads up Soul Sista, a unique ministry affiliated to Soul Survivor that encourages teenage girls in their walk with God. Author of SOUL SISTA: HOW TO BE A GIRL OF GOD, she is married to singer/songwriter Matt Redman.