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Celia is the single mother of an exceptionally beautiful child: nine-year-old Rachel. All too aware of the precarious balance of the life she has built for the two of them, Celia worries about her daughter’s longing for the father she has never met. When Rachel disappears one night during a blackout, Celia is stricken with guilt and terror. But her desperation is only half the story as Ron, the man who has taken Rachel, struggles with feelings that are at once tender, misguided and chillingly fixated.
A suspenseful and haunting novel of obsessive love, Helpless once again showcases Barbara Gowdy’s incredible talent for bringing the reader face to face with the provocative and discomforting. At the height of the story’s tension, she leads us with a steady hand into territory that is unexpected but ultimately as transcendent as the passing of a storm.
Barbara Gowdy is the author of seven books, including Helpless, The Romantic, The White Bone, Mister Sandman, We So Seldom Look on Love and Falling Angels, all of which have been met with widespread international acclaim and critical praise. She has been a finalist three times for the Governor General’s Award and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and twice for the Giller Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In 1996, she received the Marian Engel Award and in 2008 the Trillium Book Award. A Member of the Order of Canada and a Guggenheim Fellow, Barbara Gowdy lives in Toronto. Visit her website at www.barbaragowdy.com.