EVE by Debbie Roxburgh

Eve has autism and struggles to cope in a world of emotional conflict and family turmoil.

Life is difficult for Eve. Her mother is depressed and regularly ups and leaves whilst her father struggles to keep the family together. Unable to communicate her feelings of rejection, she builds a 'book wall' in her room which she takes refuge behind when things get too much for her.

Eve's father takes on the role of single parent when her mother fails to return home. He begins to find ways of coping with his daughter's challenging needs and a fragile bond of understanding is formed.

But when Eve spots her mother with another man feelings of rejection come flooding back and all her father's hard work begins to unravel.






  • Classification: Universal
  • Work is: Extract only on Authonomy
  • First submitted Sept. 25, 2013
  • Last updated Sept. 25, 2013
EVE
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  • 63 comments
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  • Angela J Elliott's avatar
    Angela J Elliott wrote 2 weeks ago

    I found myself completely enraptured with Eve and could have gone on reading forever, if it wasn't for the fact that this is an extract. Interestingly, no one has reviewed it for two months and before that 8 months. I really don't know why. It's very beautifully observed.

  • Su Dan's avatar
    Su Dan wrote 2 months, 2 weeks ago

    interesting and well told piece. the subject matter is especially telling, as autism is so misunderstood... l hope this book does well...
    SU DAN

  • Pippa Whitethorn's avatar
    Pippa Whitethorn wrote 8 months, 4 weeks ago
    Hi Debbie, I read the first 5 chapters of this because the tag line caught my attention. I used to work closely with an autistic teen and I wondered how you'd manage to convey the very confusing world those with autism sometimes struggle with. You've done an amazing job. This is so well written and manages to convey so much with so few words. I made some notes - just my thoughts as I read - ignore what isn't helpful ...
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  • Tula's avatar
    Tula wrote 9 months ago
    Hi Debbie My little dog is sick, so I've spent the day sitting with her, and I've had time to read everything you've posted on Eve. What a story it is - I was immediately drawn into her world and I like the way you've broken up the short, sharp paragraphs with her thoughts. I did wonder at first whether her actions around her mother's bed were a little old for a four-year-old, but then these children are able to ...
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  • katie78's avatar
    katie78 wrote 9 months, 2 weeks ago
    i finally came back for more! at the beginning of chapter four, you use the phrase "developed a fixation" which sounds much more clinical than the rest of the chapter. the parts not in italics, while not directly in eve's pov, seem filtered through her and i'm not sure this is how she'd describe it. as for the lines in italics, i'm not sure what they add here. 'eve no like school' is an unnecessary observation and even if this ...
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  • mikegilli's avatar
    mikegilli wrote 9 months, 3 weeks ago
    Eve is a captivating and entertaining story, not at all a worthy treatise, and the reader is left supporting Eve all the way against the cruel and ignorant world. The technique worked well for me, of using the contrast between a few awkward misunderstood words and her intelligent special thinking. I know this is finished but I was surprised at the 3 chapters about Robert near the end of the uploaded part, I would have interspersed them to link more ...
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  • blueheart's avatar
    blueheart wrote 10 months ago
    Reading on as enjoyed the first chapter so much. C2 has Eve's clothing being labelled wrongly by her mother - this could be an analogy with the labelling of Eve herself? Or how she is wrongly perceived by the outside world. Seems to be a communication breakdown between Eve and her mother - superbly illustrated by the fear of a label being sewn into Eve's neck. 'mouse-child' - great You effectively highlight sensory detail that is significant to Eve - ...
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  • Max China's avatar
    Max China wrote 10 months, 1 week ago
    Chapter 2. One year on. More views and disjointed glimpses ... so effective, conveying volumes in a few carefully chosen words. The vicious circle created by the note-taking to record Eve's behaviour and then her hypersensitve reaction to the noise the pen makes scratching on the paper, causing more note-taking is keenly observed and heightens awareness of the sort of problems autistic children can face. By the end of the chapter, the writer has cleverly revealed that whilst poor Eve's ...
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  • Max China's avatar
    Max China wrote 10 months, 1 week ago

    Chapter 1. The space between paragraphs is stark, yet marks out Eve's isolation so effectively and how poignant is it to be inside the head of a child in this predicament ... beautifully written and realistically portrayed.

    I will continue with chapter 2 in a short while.

    Max

  • Debbie R's avatar
    Debbie R Author wrote 10 months, 3 weeks ago

    Hi Hock
    Thank you for your comments on EVE.
    I work with children and young adults who have autism and have drawn on that experience to create Eve.
    The book is written from 3 viewpoints - Julia is Eve's mother and Robert is her father. They have chapters headed with their names to clarify this and their stories interlink with Eve's.

  • hockgtjoa's avatar
    hockgtjoa wrote 10 months, 4 weeks ago

    I don't know how the author knows this is what to be autistic but it doesn't matter. This is well written and harrowing. Will back in June.
    p.s. I am mystified by the Julia chapters.

  • blueheart's avatar
    blueheart wrote 10 months, 4 weeks ago
    Absorbed by the intensity of this first chapter. I felt totally inside Eve's bewildering world and yet thanks to the skillful third person narration was also able to get an understanding of her from a 'normal' perspective. Love the thoughts in italics. Bold, surprising writing. Quibbles - 'anxious veins' 'tiny hummingbird heart' - cut tiny? Also the use of 'she' detracts a bit from the very effective penultimate sentence of C1 'Eve's greatest fear...' is slightly jarring - isn't a ...
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  • Retired user
    Nelly Harper [Retired] wrote 11 months ago

    It is great to see autism described so well. The reader is able to fully empathise with Eve and understand how comforting her strange behaviours are.
    Having brought up a daughter who is borderline autistic, with clear autistic communication but only diagnosed aged 20 I can really relate to Eve.
    Congratulations on an excellent start, I will be back to read more very soon

  • PurpleProse's avatar
    PurpleProse wrote 11 months, 1 week ago
    Hi there. Have read the first three chapters and I think you create the world of Eve very impressively. I like the way that you have Eve's thoughts in italics and give the reader a sense of how difficult it is for her to understand the world she lives in. The writing flows very easily and smoothly and the reader is carried along by the strong sense of sympathy that you engender for the chlld, born to struggle. I did ...
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  • A.D. Michael's avatar
    A.D. Michael wrote 11 months, 2 weeks ago

    I really love the first chapter -- I'm there with her, in the room. I get a real feel for the little girl and her anxieties regarding mother. It seems a sad tale at the moment but I guess there is a lot more in store.
    Thanks
    AD Micheal

  • ShrienA's avatar
    ShrienA wrote 11 months, 2 weeks ago

    This is amazing. Just purely amazing. I love love it. Will be reading on!

  • DARIUS 1's avatar
    DARIUS 1 wrote 11 months, 2 weeks ago

    Chapter Four

    "..lists appear like whispers."

    I'll be brief - this is so heart rending.

    You make me sit in mouse girl's body and look through her eyes and it frightens me as to just how this tale will end.

    In summation - " Bloody marvelous"

    Darius
    The King's Jew

  • katie78's avatar
    katie78 wrote 11 months, 3 weeks ago

    chapter three- i feel like there's a slight pov issue in this chapter. are we still in eve's pov? it doesn't seem like she'd have the perspective to relate the mother's 'mistakes' and why the assistant isn't there.

    your first chapter was exquisite, but as we go on in eve's perspective, i'm longing for another voice to make a more complete picture.

  • katie78's avatar
    katie78 wrote 11 months, 3 weeks ago

    in chapter two, when eve sits behind the row of books in her room, you say her hands are under her feet. then she has a hand on her chest. then her hand are still under her feet.

    otherwise, just enjoying the read.

  • Aminul Ruhul Islam's avatar
    Aminul Ruhul Islam wrote 11 months, 3 weeks ago
    Eve: Short pitch: Appropriate and arresting. Long pitch: Maintains the interest with more details. Debbie Roxburgh, you have chosen an important subject for your book. You write with exceptional clarity; and it is compelling. The characters are developed meticulously. It is a difficult book to write; but you have managed it so well that for the readers it is an easy read. You definitely deserve some praise for this project. Wish you all the best with this book. All 6 ...
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