Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Publication Date: 2004
By the acclaimed author of The Rules of Engagement and Minus Time, Claire’s Head is a compulsive, psychologically charged new novel about a migraine sufferer and her search for her missing sister.
On a quiet June morning, Toronto cartographer Claire Barber receives a phone call telling her that her sister Rachel, a freelance medical journalist living in New York, seems to have vanished. Last heard from while on assignment in Montreal, Rachel cancelled a trip to visit her six-year-old daughter, who lives with Claire’s middle sister, in Toronto. Among the many fears that haunt Claire as she begins to track Rachel’s whereabouts is that Rachel’s worsening migraines have pushed her beyond her limits.
As Claire disrupts her orderly life to follow news of Rachel to Montreal, to Amsterdam, to Italy, and, ultimately, to Las Vegas and Mexico in the company of Rachel’s ex-lover, Brad, she enters a world of neurologists and New Age healers. Struggling with her own headaches, Claire embarks on what becomes an emotional journey, one that brings to the fore her parents’ sudden death eight years earlier. It also reveals the heightening tensions in her relationship with her partner, Stefan, portraying along the way long-held secrets from the past as well as the uniquely complex and irreplaceable bond between sisters. What Claire comes to discover will set her life on a new course.
Taking place over one summer, but delving back into the past, Claire’s Head provides both a layered, engrossing story and a meditation on how we live with pain and what we will give up to be free of it, written with all the insight, intelligence, and storytelling artistry for which Catherine Bush’s fiction has come to be known. With this, her third novel, she has once again proved herself to be one of Canadian fiction’s most striking and original voices.
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