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

Laurie Gough. Dundurn (IPS, U.S. dist.; UTP, Canadian dist.), $21.99 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-4597-3591-0

Veteran travel writer Gough (Kite Strings of the Southern Cross) recounts a different kind of journey that began when her 10-year-old son experienced the sudden onset of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Quinn had been a healthy, carefree boy, but signs of OCD surfaced after several months of deep grief following the death of his grandfather, with whom he had been very close. Gough details behaviors and beliefs that soon made it impossible for Quinn to attend school or live as he previously had: tapping his knees and twisting his head in symmetry rituals, clenching his fists to hold magic bubbles that were essential to his obsession with winning a race at the 2024 Olympics, and other rituals he believed would bring his grandfather back to life. The family sought help from doctors, and Quinn began treatment with a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Gough characterizes OCD as an insatiable monster that gets hungrier the more one gives in to it. With help from family and friends, Quinn confronts this inner bully. This moving story is highly recommended as a beacon of hope for those experiencing OCD and their loved ones. Agent: Martha Webb, McDermid Agency. (Oct.)