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: Heart of Success, Money Secret, Wisdom House

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

The Heart of Success, The Money Secret and The Wisdom House capture wisdom from Rob's own experiences and of others he's met.'Rob Parsons has an uncanny ability for asking life's most challenging questions in an unobtrusive way.' - Jill Garrett, The Gallup Organisation'Before you read one more book on how to climb the corporate ladder read this: it will help you make sure the ladder is leaning against the right wall.' - Kevin Kaiser, INSEAD'Get ready for an incredible journey of self-discovery.' Bob Gorzynki, author of The Strategic Mind

Hodder & Stoughton

Let Me Tell You A Story

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

Rob Parsons is a bestselling author who has travelled widely across the UK and around the world, sharing his own stories of the ups and downs of life and faith with over a million people at live events over the past 30 years.Let Me Tell You A Story brings together some of the very the best of these stories - heartwarming and challenging tales that make up a compendium of insights on faith and family, love and loss, money and priorities, dreams and goals.Pull up a chair and settle in to enjoy as the storyteller weaves his spell...

Hodder & Stoughton

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

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.THE SIXTY MINUTE MARRIAGE 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.This bundle is what every mother and father will want to read!

Hodder & Stoughton

The Money Secret

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

The essential audiobook from top selling author, Rob Parsons, relevant to anyone who wants to find happiness through financial freedom.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.The contents of The Biscuit Tin are available in the accompanying PDF. (P)2005 Hodder & Stoughton

Hodder Paperbacks

The Wisdom House

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

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.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Sixty Minute Grandparent

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
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

What They Didn't Teach Me in Sunday School

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton

The Heart of Success

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

Jack's father was one of the most successful entrepreneurs of his time - the only problem was that the old man had no time, no friends, and died early. The prospect of following in the family tradition seems less than appealing to Jack but on the first day of his MBA he meets a retired professor who offers him a class that wasn't exactly on the curriculum: how to make it in business without losing in life. Over a series of memorable evenings the professor shares with Jack seven laws to turn his life around.Don't settle for being money rich - time poorBelieve that the job you do makes a differencePlay to your strengthsBelieve in the power of dreamsPut your family before your careerKeep the common touchDon't settle for success; strive for significance

Hodder & Stoughton

The Sixty Minute Father

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

THE SIXTY MINUTE FATHER sets goals to help every father ensure that he doesn't miss out on the greatest opportunity of his life. His advice includes: Put dates in your diary that are important for your children; talk to your baby as if she understands every word; if you have to be away write your children a letter; tell them how you spend your day.This is a book for fathers that every mother will want to read!

Hodder & Stoughton

Teenagers!

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons

Rob Parsons explains how to cope with this often disruptive period in a family's life and how to continue feeling close to your teenagers as they grow up and become increasingly independent. He gives clear and easy to follow advice making sure that you will not feel on your own and you will be able to make the most of your precious time with your children.'Insightful and practical. It will help every parent navigate those turbulent teenage years.' - David Lumsdon, Educational Psychology Academic and Professional Tutor, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne 'This incredible book will save not just our relationships with our children, but our sanity. And the really lucky ones will discover it before their kids are teenagers.' - Parentalk 'It was as if somebody turned on a light. This book whispered to me, 'You're not the worst mother on the face of the earth. This stuff with your teenager is normal.' - Jennie, mother of three teenagers

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

Loving Against the Odds

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton

What Every Kid Wished their Parents Knew

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

Alexander Armstrong

Alexander Armstrong is a presenter, comedian and actor and part of the comedy duo Armstrong and Miller. He presents the hit BBC show Pointless with Richard Osman. As well as regular appearances on panel shows such as Have I Got News For You, he also presents a show on Classic FM and writes a column for the Telegraph.

Alister McGrath

Alister McGrath is the Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford University, and Fellow of Harris Manchester College, Oxford. After initial academic work in the natural sciences, Alister turned to the study of theology and intellectual history, while occasionally becoming engaged in broader cultural debates about the rationality and relevance of the Christian faith. He is the author of many academic and theological works, as well as the bestselling The Dawkins Delusion and, most recently, his acclaimed C. S. Lewis - A Life.

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.

David Nicholls

David Nicholls is the bestselling author of US, ONE DAY, STARTER FOR TEN and THE UNDERSTUDY. His novels have sold over 8 million copies worldwide and are published in forty languages. David's fifth novel, SWEET SORROW, will be published by Hodder in July 2019. David trained as an actor before making the switch to writing. He is an award-winning screenwriter, with TV credits including the third series of Cold Feet, a much-praised modern version of Much Ado About Nothing, The 7.39 and an adaptation of Tess of the D'Urbervilles. David wrote the screenplays for Great Expectations (2012) and Far from the Madding Crowd (2015, starring Carey Mulligan). He has twice been BAFTA nominated and his recent adaptation of Patrick Melrose from the novels by Edward St Aubyn won him an Emmy nomination. His bestselling first novel, STARTER FOR TEN, was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club in 2004, and in 2006 David went on to write the screenplay of the film version.His third novel, ONE DAY, was published in 2009 to extraordinary critical acclaim, and stayed in the Sunday Times top ten bestseller list for ten weeks on publication. ONE DAY won the 2010 Galaxy Book of the Year Award. David's fourth novel, US, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2014 and was another no. 1 Sunday Times bestseller. In 2014, he was named Author of the Year at the National Book Awards.

Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand grew up in Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop, where she was a teaching/writing fellow. She now lives with her husband and their three children on Nantucket, Massachusetts, where her novels are set.You can follow Elin on Twitter @elinhilderbrand or find out more on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/ElinHilderbrand.

Gervase Phinn

Dr Gervase Phinn is a teacher, freelance lecturer, author, poet, educational consultant and visiting professor of education. For fourteen years he taught in a range of schools, then acted as General Adviser for Language Development in Rotherham before moving on to North Yorkshire, where he spent ten years as a school inspector - time that has provided much source material for his books. He has four grown up children and four grandchildren and lives near Doncaster. Visit Gervase's website, www.gervase-phinn.com.