Irving’s wife, Helen, passed away over a year ago, but thelife she left behind is still very much alive. From the moment he met thered-headed force of nature that was Helen Donnelly in a chance encounter at herfather’s bookshop, Irving Cruikshank knew he was in for the time of his life.He, an unassuming history teacher, and she, a larger-than-life aspiring writer,were not an obvious match, yet with Helen’s passing, Irving is consumed by agrief he can’t articulate. And Severn, their teenage daughter—angry at him,angry at Helen—has disappeared after shoplifting a book written by a formerflame of her mother’s from a big-box bookstore. Now Irving must uncover familysecrets from the past—secrets that he’ll have to confront if he wants afuture with his daughter.
A polished and satisfying novel that deals in a fresh andoriginal way with fathers and daughters, love and grief, it’s no wonder that AfterHelen was chosen from 1,500 other competitors as the winner of the LondonBook Fair’s 2004 "Lit Idol" contest.