Friday, 17 October 2008

helpless by Barbara Gowdy

Celia is a video store employee by day and a lounge singer by night. Her young daughter Rachel is drop dead gorgeous. It should come as no surprise that someone has nefarious plans for Rachel. She is snatched from her front yard during a blackout in Toronto by a man who has been stalking her.

I have read a number of abduction themed books, and in most cases, the focus is on those investigating the events. This story is different. It focuses on Ron, the abductor, and the events in his past that led him to take this action. On Nancy, his girl friend, and why she at first supports Ron, but why she defies him in little ways. And finally there is Celia who questions whether she is worthy of such a wonderful daughter.

This is a wonderfully crafted novel. Ms. Gowdy kept me guessing if and how she would re-unite Rachel and Celia.

I found this a hard book to listen to. Several times I had to wipe away tears. The topic of child abduction is one I prefer not to delve into and thus would not recommend it to other sensitive readers.

As for the book being on MP3-CD, I was pleasantly surprised. Laurie Brown, the reader, has a lovely voice. She is well able to convey the anguish of Celia, as well as Nancy's concern and confusion. The disk format allowed for easy movement between chapters. My children think this is a 'cool' way to read.

If you haven't listened to an audio book since the cassette tape ere, then you should give it another try. I think you'll be happy you did.

While this book is by a Canadian author, I have chosen not to count it in my challenge as I am planning to read First Nations Authors. I would welcome your suggestions of authors and titles.

See Marie's review.

1 comment:

John Mutford said...

The only Gowdy I've read was White Bone. It was an interesting concept but didn't inspire me to read anything else by her. This one doesn't sound bad though.