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Dear Lucy Hardcover – 25 Apr 2013
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DEAR LUCY introduces a young writer with a most original voice and a tenderly eccentric vision. Julie Sarkissian has created a boldly lyrical, suspenseful, and mysterious fictional world in this striking debut novel. (Joyce Carol Oates)
Gloriously intimate, full of strangeness and striking sentences that made me stop and savour Lucy's world. (Alison Moore, Booker Prize shortlisted author of The Lighthouse)
DEAR LUCY is about keeping promises against huge odds. This gorgeous novel does exactly that: the opening pages promise transcendent writing, remarkable characters, and a slowly unfolding mystery. But what happened and why is only part of what keeps you reading . . . Both whimsical and profound, DEAR LUCY wins your heart on the very first page and delivers it back, fuller and slightly cracked, on the last. (Charlotte Rogan, New York Times bestselling author of The Lifeboat)
Lucy is a heroine with a unique voice who offers a deeply engaging view of her world. The desperate journey Lucy embarks on is compelling - she carries us along with her every step of the way. The reader can see what Lucy can't, and the skilful depiction of her naivety contrasted with the intentions of those around her makes us care about her all the more. This is a novel which explores a variety of themes such as motherhood, life force, choice, faith and personal morals. DEAR LUCY is a rewarding and compulsive novel, written in a beautiful, at times poetic style. I fell in love with Lucy on the first page, and am still thinking about what's happening to her now, even after the last page has been turned. (Jess Richards, author of Snake Ropes, shortlisted for the COSTA First Novel Award)
An incredibly accomplished debut. Brave, beautifully written and above all big-hearted. I loved it. (Sarah Rayner, bestselling author of One Moment, One Morning and The Two Week Wait)
In DEAR LUCY, Julie Sarkissian has accomplished what many veteran novelists never achieve: a startlingly original work that is also profound and wise in the vagaries of the heart. What an amazing debut. (Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of Serena and The Cove)
Julie Sarkissian has written a rare and precious novel - moving, captivating, and expertly written in a voice unlike any other. DEAR LUCY is full of characters who are heartbreakingly human; full of hope, desperation, love and joy. You'll want to linger over the poetry of each and every sentence, but the foreboding mystery looming on the horizon will keep you turning the pages of this hauntingly beautiful book. (Haley Tanner, author of Vaclav & Lena)
Hypnotic and mesmerizing. This is gothic noir that is full of heart and pathos. Lucy's lyric voice comes barreling off the page, and you will be utterly transfixed by the twists and turns of her journey. Sarkissian is a brilliant young writer who has written one of the most memorable debut novels in recent years. (Gabe Hudson, author of Dear Mr. President)
Julie Sarkissian has written the most original and stunning debut novels I have read in a long time. DEAR LUCY is one of those rare delights that you cannot put down, and once you do, you can't forget. (Ann Hood, New York Times bestselling author of The Red Thread and The Knitting Circle)
An ambitious debut expresses different versions of maternal need through three female voices . . . Sarkissian describes desperation on one side and deceived otherworldliness on the other as Lucy's interior landscape is revealed as a struggle for comprehension, memory and expression, lit with shafts of insight and fantasy . . . A daring mix of thriller, whimsy and intense emotional portraiture. (Kirkus)
The debut novel from a brilliant new voice in contemporary fiction. With its quirky, enchanting narrator, DEAR LUCY is perfect for fans of Room and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
At first such arrangements seem to have much going for them, but then come the doubts. What became of predecessor Stella and her baby? Is all as it seems...?
All with distinct voices, Lucy, Samantha and Missus narrate, but it is mainly Lucy's tale we hear. She possesses so many thoughts, but they are hard to come out in spoken words, this frustrating when it is so important that they should. Alarming too, when in desperation she seizes people's hair to force them to listen.
This debut novel skilfully creates credible characters in circumstances that perturb. Despite its humour and lyrical moments, I found the unfolding tale heartrending and grim. Problems are revealed surely beyond Lucy's ability to resolve - her singlemindedness of purpose awesome as she tries.
Welcome here a new writer, firmly in control.
Lucy has trouble communicating with the world.
"What's the matter with you?
I know that question.
What's the matter with you?
When someone asks you that question, there is no answer."
Lucy has been sent by her Mum mum to live on a farm with Mister and Missus. She knows she must never leave the farm or Mum mum won't know where to find her. Lucy is mostly happy on the farm - she likes collecting the eggs from the chicken coop. Samantha's family has sent her to the farm as well - to await the birth of her illegitimate child. And with Samantha, Lucy has found her first and only friend. When Samantha gives birth and the baby disappears, Lucy knows what she must do.
"A family, they are there from the beginning of each other." She has to find the baby for Samantha.
Although she cannot read, she takes Samantha's journal and a helper on her quest - Jennifer the chicken. Yes, a chicken, who plays a major role in the book - and has a pretty big personality.
Lucy captured my heart from the beginning. Her view of the world is so innocent, so logical and so hard for others to understand. I could see danger and heartbreak coming as I turned pages and I just wanted to protect her. Samantha's story also captured my emotions, but in a different way. Sarkissian has a magical way with words.
"Sometimes there are people that you use words to say good-bye because you are going to separate from them. But other times there are people that you say good-bye to with words but inside your heart you never say good-bye to them. Mum mum is one of those people. There is a thread and the thread is so long that it lasts forever. Your heart is tied to one end of the thread and your mother's heart is tied to the other end. So really it's not a good-bye. No matter how far away you go, you never have to say good-bye."
I fell in love with Lucy and her outlook. ("And I liked to wave. That is how branches dance with the wind.") But Missus - well, she's a whole 'nother story. Sarkissian employs multiple narrators, telling the story of Dear Lucy in alternating chapters. I always enjoy this method of storytelling. There's a delicious tension in seeing the same events from different perspectives. Or having a piece of information that one of the characters doesn't.
Sarkissian has woven an addicting story, but she also deftly explores the theme of motherhood from many viewpoints.
Dear Lucy is a unique, beguiling, captivating read that I devoured in a day. This is a title I'll definitely be recommending to everyone and I'll be eagerly awaiting the next novel from this fresh new voice.
Fans of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time would love this title.
The main character, Lucy, has difficulty communicating with the world. She makes a friend, Samantha, who is sent to Lucy's family farm to give birth to her illegitimate baby, who is taken away soon after the birth, something which Lucy does not understand.
Lucy was a character that I wanted to mother - she is so innocent and her outlook on the world has been cleverly written by Sarkissian.
It is a fantastic read, and one which I would recommend for lovers of books like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.
Lucy struggles to communicate with the world but this is her story based on her perspective. I also enjoyed reading the story from different perspectives of others in the book.
Well written, touching- but not overly emotional, lots of humour