Helpless: A Novel

Helpless: A Novel

by Barbara Gowdy
3.5 2

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Helpless: A Novel by Barbara Gowdy

From the internationally acclaimed author of The White Bone and The Romantic, a haunting and suspenseful novel of abduction and obsessive love

Nine-year-old Rachel Fox has the face of an angel, a heart-stopping luminosity that strikes all who meet her. Her single mother, Celia, working at a video store by day and a piano bar by night, is not always around to shield her daughter from the attention—both benign and sinister—that her beauty draws. Attention from model agencies, for example, or from Ron, a small-appliance repairman who, having seen Rachel once, is driven to see her again and again.

When a summer blackout plunges the city into darkness and confusion, Rachel is taken from her home. A full-scale search begins, but days pass with no solid clues, only a phone call Celia receives from a woman whose voice she has heard before but cannot place. And as Celia fights her terror and Rachel starts to trust in her abductor's kindness, the only other person who knows where she is wavers between loyalty to the captor and saving the child. Will Rachel be found before her abductor's urge to protect and cherish turns to something altogether less innocent?

Tapping into the fear that lies just below the surface of contemporary city life, Barbara Gowdy draws on her trademark empathy and precision to create a portrait of love at its most consuming and ambiguous and to uncover the volatile point at which desire gives way to the unthinkable.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781429921572
Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 04/01/2007
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 266,769
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Barbara Gowdy is the author of five previous books, including most recently The White Bone and The Romantic. Her fiction has been published in more than twenty countries. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Barbara Gowdy is the author of several books, including Helpless, The White Bone and The Romantic. Her fiction has been published in more than twenty countries. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

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Helpless 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
XXmrsblackXX More than 1 year ago
I read to about...the fourth of fifth chapter, liking it- it kept me intrigued. But when It started going INTO the mind of the kidknapper, you saw how the sick petifile thought, it distgusted and disturbed me. The way he LUSTS over a frickin nine year old is wrong and we have enough of that in the world, when I want to escape into a book, I don't want to go somewhere are cruel as this world.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Toronto, single mom Celia Fox works two jobs while raising her beautiful mixed race daughter nine year old Rachel. Celia works at Tom¿s Video and plays jazz and blues at Casa Hernandez Motel. As protective as Celia is of her daughter, she is unaware of the impact her exotic looking offspring has on men, but begins to comprehend when a child model agent wants to hire Rachel Celia has doubts, but Rachel sees a chance to earn money that she and her mom could use. However, mom is unaware that repairman Ron has seen Rachel and fallen in love.--------------- Ron wants to save his beloved from poverty and maternal neglect and abuse. When a blackout occurs, Ron realizes he has the opportunity to save his Rachel so he abducts her for her own good. He enlists his girlfriend Nancy to help him ¿protect¿ the child, but finds his needs for her beginning to overwhelm his reasoning. As the police search for the missing preadolescent and Celia fears the worst, the media turns the abduction into a circus.-------------------- This is a deep psychological study that looks into the minds of the key cast members especially mother, daughter, kidnapper, and accomplice. The story line is totally character driven with the suspense coming from the subtle changes in attitudes of the prime quartet. Celia suffers from guilt and doubt as she deals with a caring mother¿s she worst nightmare Rachel begins to change her attitude as the Stockholm Syndrome begins to take affect. Nancy begins to have doubts that they did the right thing for the little girl as she realizes that Celia is not a terrible abusive mother. However, it is creepy Ron who makes the tale as he begins to conclude his pristine reasons are not pure. This is a frightening insightful suspense thriller that never lets the readers pause for a moment.-------------- Harriet Klausner