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.