David Madden

davidmaddenAbducted by Circumstance
A Novel
By David Madden

Published By:
LSU Press

About the Book:
In Abducted by Circumstance, David Madden offers his readers a unique
experience, simultaneously terrifying and exhilarating.Carol Seaborg makes a risky visit in zero weather to a lighthousenear her house in The Thousand Islands of New York on the Canadian border.A self-confident, attractive woman of about 55 suddenly appears on the observation deck looking out over frozen Lake Ontario. Carol admires thewoman as her ideal. Suddenly, the woman disappears, apparently abducted by a serial rapist and killer, stimulating in Carol an immediate empathy. Carol projects her own emotions, imagination, and intellect into Glenda’s experience.To render that empathy and imagination, Madden channels everything that people around her say and do through Carol’s perceptions focusing on the abducted woman, whose name newscasters reveal is Glenda Hamilton.As Carol imagines Glenda gradually coping with her abductor, she speaksdirectly, sometimes out loud, to her, encouraging her, advising her, expressing fear for her.

Carol’s memories reveal that her life has been full of venturesome relationships and events
(she once rode across Greece alone on a bicycle). Carol’s emotions and imagination are highly charged and the circumstances and relationships of her past and present predispose
Carol to empathize with Glenda. Carol’s own life among a crude, remote second
husband, a somewhat estranged adolescent son, a bright five-year-old daughter,a father who is a rather cold philosophy teacher, and the strong spiritual presence of her mother who committed suicide, is simple and routine. The events involving Glenda’s disappearance take place during the week before Carol’ssecond surgery for breast cancer. Gradually, as she takes late night drives with her little girl, visits herex-boyfriend’s father in a nursing home, drives by her ex-lover’s house and business, and visits the campus where her father is a prominent teacher, the reader realizes, some pages before Carol herself does, that she has been abducted by the circumstances of her life. Although it is grounded in the realistic detail of everyday life, Abducted
by Circumstance
is unique in conception, style, and characterization. Madden

Abducted by Circumstance is at once a thrilling crime story, a dark and complex psychological
study, a rich contemplation oncontemporary life. It is also amasterful moral drama about the
centuries-old conflicts that arise from the juxtaposition of the fleshand spirit.

—Allen Wier, Author of Tehano

David Madden continues to push the envelope of literary fiction in subtle and profoundly
sophisticated ways. Abducted by Circumstance is a quirky, utterly compelling novel in pieces thatn its very structure speaks to the work’s 21st century theme: how do we find connection in a
fragmented world. In this new book Madden is at the height of his considerable power
—Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

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