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4 of 5
2 ratings
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list price: $32.95
category: Fiction
published: Feb 2007
ISBN:9780002008464

Helpless

by Barbara Gowdy

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literary
4 of 5
2 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $32.95
category: Fiction
published: Feb 2007
ISBN:9780002008464
Description

Helpless is Barbara Gowdy’s brilliant new novel, a provocative, gripping story of an unthinkable act and a mother’s heroic love for her child.

Rachel is an uncommonly beautiful young girl. With her tawny skin, pale blue eyes and chromium-blond hair, she is a cherished gift to her mother, Celia. Celia is a single parent holding down two jobs. All too aware of her own precarious equilibrium, she worries about Rachel’s innocent longing for her unknown father.

When a blackout plunges the city into darkness and confusion, Rachel is snatched away. Celia, numb with terror and guilt about the choices she has made, confronts the reality of every mother’s worst nightmare. The media coverage is tremendous. Closely monitoring it is Ron, a small-appliance repairman with a rare collection of vintage vacuums in his basement. Though Rachel is a stranger to him, he feels oddly connected to her, as though she is his responsibility. His feelings for her are, at once, tender, misguided and chillingly possessive.

Tapping into the fear and tension just below the surface of contemporary city life, Gowdy’s clear-eyed prose artfully urges us to consider what we dare not look at too closely. With her uncanny ability to lay bare our common soul and to fearlessly explore the intricate complexities of love, Gowdy has created a masterful novel.

About the Author

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, twice for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and has been long-listed for the Booker Prize. In 1996 she received the Marian Engel Award, and in 2008 the Trillium Book Award. Barbara Gowdy is a Member of the Order of Canada and a Guggenheim Fellow. She lives in Toronto.

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Editorial Review

"Gowdy takes someone we would like to contain in a box marked "monster" and brings him too close to dismiss so conveniently.... She also creates a book that stands out among an already unique and powerful body of work." (Times Colonist (Victoria))

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