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Family & Relationships General

Stolen Child

A Mother's Journey to Rescue Her Son from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

by (author) Laurie Gough

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2016
General, Child & Adolescent, Compulsive Behavior
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2016
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2016
    List Price

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A year in the desperate life of a boy transformed by OCD from a bright ten-year-old into a stranger in his own skin.

Although Laurie Gough was an intrepid traveller who had explored wild, far-off reaches of the globe, the journey she and her family took in their own home in their small Quebec village proved to be far more frightening, strange, and foreign than any land she had ever visited.

It began when Gough’s son, shattered by his grandfather’s death, transformed from a bright, soccer-ball kicking ten-year-old into a near-stranger, falling into trances where his parents couldn’t reach him and performing ever-changing rituals of magical thinking designed to bring his grandpa back to life.

Stolen Child examines a horrifying year in one family’s life, the lengths the parents went to to help their son, and how they won the battle against his all-consuming disorder.

About the author

Lauded by Time magazine as "one of the new generation of intrepid young female travel writers," Laurie Gough is author of Kiss The Sunset Pig (Penguin Canada) Island of the Human Heart in Canada which was (Kite Strings of the Southern Cross: A Woman's Travel Odyssey) of the shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, and silver medal winner of ForeWord Magazine's Travel Book of the Year in the US. Eighteen of her stories have been anthologized in various literary travel books, including Salon.Com's Wanderlust: Real-Life Tales of Adventure and Romance; AWOL: Tales for Travel-Inspired Minds; Sand in My Bra: Funny Women Write From the Road; Hyenas Laughed at Me and Now I know Why: The Best of Travel Humor and Misadventure; and A Woman's World. She has written for, The L.A. Times, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Vancouver Sun, Outpost, Canadian Geographic, The Daily Express, and In London, among others.

Laurie Gough's profile page

Editorial Reviews

This moving story is highly recommended as a beacon of hope for those experiencing OCD and their loved ones.

Publishers Weekly

A journey scarier than a trip to any foreign land

Low Down to Hull & Back News

People use the term “OCD” casually, often with a snicker. But Stolen Child demonstrates beautifully the devastation that the disease can bring, and the love that a family brings to fight it. It's a heartfelt story of a family transformed by OCD, told with compassion and honesty.

Jim Davies, cognitive scientist and author of Riveted

Gough’s straight ahead style is seductive. She draws you in. You stay in.

Brian Doyle, author of Angel Square and Up to Low

This book is an outstretched hand. A gift to anyone who has sought to understand the mysterious nature of OCD and its isolating, bewildering consequences. This is a tale of tenderness and devotion, a portrait of the importance of community, and a story of surprising, unexpected, light.

Alison Wearing, author of Confessions of a Fairy's Daughter and Honeymoon in Purdah

This is a book impossible to put down. It will move you to tears.

Ottawa Citizen

Gough’s straightforward and eloquent style quickly draws you into this memoir about her son’s battle with obsessive compulsive disorder. Even for those with no ties, this is a beautifully written, touchingly honest tale.

Ottawa Magazine

What do you do when your child is stricken down with a disorder whose cure is not at all certain? If you are a rational skeptic like Laurie Gough you research everything ever written on the disorder and apply the methods of science and reason to solve the problem, without resorting to superstition or the supernatural. Stolen Child is beautifully written and emotionally evocative, but it is not just about OCD. It is about the power of reason … and love … to overcome adversity, a book that belongs among the classics of parenting.

Michael Shermer, author of Why People Believe Weird Things, The Believing Brain, and The Moral Arc

Other titles by Laurie Gough