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

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

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
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Falling Leaves and Fireworks: a funny, feel-good autumnal enovella

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

A warm, wonderful and funny novella from bestselling author Chrissie Manby, the perfect treat for crisp, woodsmoke-scented autumn days.Sparklers, bonfires, trick-or-treating... autumn has arrived! The thirty-first of October usually marks the start of the party season in the Benson Edwards household but, having recently lost his beloved cat Fishy, little Jack, aged eight, isn't ready to celebrate. When the rest of the Bensons and their neighbours decide to throw a Halloween fancy-dress bash in an attempt to cheer Jack up, however, not everything goes to plan as Mark and Ronnie play a ghostly prank which inadvertently sparks a local scandal. By the time Bonfire Night rolls around, will their neighbourhood relations be up in in smoke? And will Jack have rediscovered his sparkle?

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A Wedding at Christmas

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
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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
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What I Did On My Holidays

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
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Writing for Love

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
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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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Marrying for Money

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

When the glamorous Grosvenor sisters arrive in the exclusive Hamptons beach town of Little Elbow, they can't help but cause a stir.Gorgeous Grace and Charming Charity are soon hot favourites on everybody's guest-list. Except that of their neighbour, Marcella Hunter. Heiress Marcella doesn't want the competition and when Grace starts dating Marcella's 'Plan B' man - dull but extraordinarily rich Choate Fitzgerald - the gloves are off. Marcella determines to find out where the sisters really came from. And exactly how they can afford to rent a six-bedroom beach house in this millionaires' playground. In the process, however, it's discovered that quite a few of the people spending that summer in Little Elbow are not exactly what they seem . . .

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Seven Sunny Days

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

When Rachel Buckley announces that she is going to tie the knot, her best friends Yaslyn and Carrie Ann organise a luxury 'hen week' in sun-soaked Turkey.It should be the perfect send off to single life. But her friends have packed more than just sun creams and bikinis - they've also brought with them a serious amount of emotional baggage.Add unlimited free cocktails, rampant reps and a nasty dose of sunstroke and suddenly seven sunny days puts even the firmest friendships to the test.

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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

Why is it that your best friend always seems to end up with men who treat her badly? Why is that your best male friend seems intent on dating the kind of girl who thinks that Nietzche is an STD? Why is it that your own little black book looks more and more like the non-celeb client list of the Priory? Why can't any of you find someone quite right?Ruby, Martin and Lou are three old friends who have spent too much time talking about the ones that got away. Facing another summer without love, they decide to approach the dating dilemma in the way they approached finding flatmates. They're going to place personal ads. For one another.Will it tempt their dream date/soul mate? Or is it a recipe for romantic disaster?

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Second Prize

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Dashing, dishy and utterly uninterested. No one else can compete. Lara Fenton is all washed up. Single at 25, she's desperate to find a man, especially since her best friend Julie got engaged. Salvation arrives in the divine form of Hugh Armstrong-Hamilton. Yes, Hugh has his faults, but who doesn't? So what if he never picks up the bill? Big deal if he cancels dates at the last moment. And who cares about a few insults from his snooty friends? Hugh is a God - her God, and any other man would seem like second prize in comparison. Or would they...?

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Flatmates

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Have you ever shared a flat with your so-called friends? Do you remember with a shudder the squabbles over the itemised phone bill, the cleaning rota and whose turn it is to do the washing up? If so, you'll sympathise with the three troubled occupants of No. 67 Artesia Road.Fiona, who's been offered a glorious job in New York, but can't bear to leave Tim, her brilliant - but none-too-devoted - fiancé.Kerry - who's fed up with spending Saturday night alone in front of the TV, fantasising about her devastatingly handsome - but homosexual - boss.Linzi - who won't be tied down by any job or man.They think they've got problems. But nothing can prepare them for the chaos which ensues when Linzi's latest boyfriend arrives on the scene. Gorgeous but feckless, Gaetano spells trouble with a capital 'T'. And soon events are spiralling out of everyone's control . . .

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Lizzie Jordan's Secret Life

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Lizzie Jordan considers herself one of life's failures. Unlike her high-flying friends, Lizzie works as a typist, shares a grubby flat and 'makes do' with her accountant boyfriend.But she has a secret love - Brian, a handsome American that she dated at university, five years ago. In her emails she pretends her life is a whirl of extravagant parties and million-pound business deals.Then Brian announces he's coming to stay! Lizzie's secret life is about to be rumbled unless she comes up with a cunning plan . . .

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Running Away From Richard

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Just graduated from drama school, Lizzie Jordan is looking forward to a glittering career at the RSC. She's also looking forward to becoming Mrs Richard Adams (Lizzie just knows that her live-in artist boyfriend is about to propose any day now). So how come, just one month later, Lizzie finds herself sharing a cockroach-infested house in Venice Beach, California, working as a waitress in a notorious transvestite bar, and pretending to be the fiancee of one of the hottest directors in Hollywood; a man who just happens to be gay? Why does life never seem to work out the way Lizzie Jordan planned?

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Ready or Not?

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
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Girl Meets Ape

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby