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.
Laurie Gough is a Thomas Cook Travel Book Award–shortlisted author and the author of over twenty stories anthologized in literary travel books. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Walrus, Maclean’s, the Globe and Mail, the L.A. Times, USA Today, salon.com, the National Post, and Canadian Geographic, among others.
A journey scarier than a trip to any foreign land
This is a book impossible to put down. It will move you to tears.
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.
Gough’s straight ahead style is seductive. She draws you in. You stay in.
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.
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.
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.
This moving story is highly recommended as a beacon of hope for those experiencing OCD and their loved ones.