Related to: 'Deep Heat'

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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The Worst Case Scenario Cookery Club: the perfect laugh-out-loud romantic comedy

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
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A Fairy Tale for Christmas: a funny, feel-good, glorious Christmas romp

Chrissie Manby
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Chrissie Manby
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A Wedding at Christmas

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
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A Proper Family Adventure

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Could you spend two weeks at sea with your family?Thanks to an unexpected windfall, the Bensons are treating themselves to a luxury cruise. With stop-offs in Barcelona, Rome and Marseilles, plus constant entertainment onboard, it's a dream come true . . . Or is it? Last time Chelsea Benson went on holiday with this lot she nearly went crazy.Her mum and sister are convinced Chelsea's boyfriend Adam will propose on the ship. Chelsea's sure he won't, but she can't help feeling butterflies as they set sail. Is Adam going to pop the question, or will the only thing to pop be Chelsea's ego?Onboard dramas, family upheavals, memories and sunshine . . . Fall in love with the Benson family, and treat yourself to a five-star family cruise, all without leaving your sofa.

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A Proper Family Christmas

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Christmas comes but once a year . . . thank goodness! So keep calm this festive season and treat yourself to the warm, wonderful new novel from Chrissie Manby.Take one Queen Bee: Annabel Buchanan, with a perfect house in the country, a rich husband and a beautiful daughter, Izzy . . .. . . and one large, loud family: the Bensons.What happens when their worlds collide?When Izzy suddenly falls dangerously ill, adoptee Annabel has to track down her biological family to see if they can help her daughter. But can she see past the Bensons' brash exteriors to the warm, loving people they are at heart?With December just around the corner, is it too much to hope that the Bensons and the Buchanans can have a proper family Christmas?

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A Proper Family Holiday

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Could you survive a week-long holiday with your entire family?Newly single magazine journalist Chelsea Benson can't think of anything worse.Your grubby small nephew torpedoing any chance of romance with the dishy guy you met on the plane . . .Your eighty-five-year-old granddad chatting up ladies at the hotel bar . . .Getting nothing but sarcastic comments from your older sister, who's always been the family favourite . . .And all this is before your parents drop their bombshell.Is a week enough time for the Bensons to put their differences aside and have some fun? Or is this their last ever proper family holiday?Heartwarming and funny, this is the perfect summer read for fans of SOPHIE KINSELLA and LINDSEY KELK. And provides a great excuse for ignoring your annoying family members . . .

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What I Did On My Holidays

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Sophie Sturgeon can't wait for her annual summer holiday. Not only will it be a week away from work, it will be a chance to reconnect with her boyfriend Callum. So this upcoming trip to Majorca is a big deal. Sophie's spent a lot of time getting ready. She's bought a new wardrobe. She's been waxed to within an inch of her life. She's determined she and Callum will have the best time ever. Then Callum dumps her, the night before they're due to leave. In a show of bravery and independence, Sophie says she'll go to Majorca alone - but in fact, she hides in her London flat. But when her friends, family, and even Callum seem so surprised and delighted at her single girl courage, Sophie decides to go all out and recreate the ultimate 'fake break' . . . with hilarious results.

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Writing for Love

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
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Kate's Wedding

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Thirty-nine-year-old Kate had almost given up on love when she met her fiance. Now she's planning for the wedding she never dreamed she'd have. But things seem to be slipping out of her control. Diana, born on the day of the 1981 Royal Wedding, never doubted that one day she would find her prince. Newly engaged, and with daddy's credit card in her grasp, she's in full Bridezilla mode. Against the backdrop of the other couple getting married in April 2011, both women prepare for the most important day of their lives. But will each bride get her perfect day? Or will it all become a right royal fiasco?

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Getting Over Mr Right

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Have you ever had your heart broken? How did you get over it? Did a tub of ice cream cheer you up? Did you delete his number and start again? Are you now friends with your ex? Perhaps you're godmother to his children? In which case, you're a weirdo and this book is not for you. But if you reacted with denial, begging or a spot of casual witchcraft, then you've come to the right place. This is one woman's journey from love to lunacy and back again ...

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Marrying for Money

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
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Seven Sunny Days

Chrissie Manby
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Chrissie Manby
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The Matchbreaker

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

When Lindsey Parker's father announces that he is to remarry, Lindsey does what any good daughter would do: wishes him congratulations, then sets about trying to kill his fiancee.Fortunately, Lindsey's botched attempt at bumping Karen off fails, but it does succeed in driving her away. Jubilation turns to guilt when Lindsey realises her father is genuinely broken-hearted. The only way to mend it is to get Karen back.But Karen already has a new man. In an attempt to break the new couple up, Lindsey turns honey-trapper. The mission: to seduce her ex-future-step-mother's boyfriend. The problem: she's falling in love with him . . .

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Getting Personal

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
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Girl Meets Ape

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Dr Jennifer Niederhauser is a brilliant but uptight zoologist. As new head of the chimpanzee project at Prowdes Animal Sanctuary, she thinks she's got it made. But the regime is ramshackle, the chimpanzees uncontrollable and her first meeting with head keeper Guy Gibson finds him naked and covered in baby oil.Worse still Prowdes is virtually bankrupt. Then a TV documentary crew arrives. Exposure could be their economic salvation but there's a problem. The show's presenter, chimpanzee expert Dr Timothy Lauder, is Jennifer's ex-boyfriend. Things could get hairy . . .

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Second Prize

Chrissie Manby
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Lizzie Jordan's Secret Life

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Ready or Not?

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Flatmates

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Running Away From Richard

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