Helen, while making her third movie under the name Sharon Vuehl, falls in love with her co-star, Sita. Once filming is over, both Helen and Sita yearn for each other, and finally meet again when the movie is nominated for an Oscar. Helen has to turn into Sharon once again for the Oscars, and decides to make an all-out project of it. While still cavorting as Sharon, Helen gets tragic news, and must hurry home to deal with it.
Most painfully, Helen meets Sita after she has transformed back to her usual appearance, but doesn't have the courage to reveal that she and Sharon are one and the same. Meanwhile, Sita is also slowly falling in love with Helen, too, though she fights her feelings valiantly. Over several years, Helen's numerous partners come and go, until Helen has unexpected brain surgery, and loses her memory. All her friends stand by her, but they cannot reestablish their relationships with her; her personality has changed too much. Only a few of her friends know that she and Sharon are the same, and it seems reasonable to consider that Sharon is dead.
But the ghost of Sharon haunts Helen at the most unexpected moments.
This is a major excerpt from the story of Helen.
'Helen,' a long, rambling story that was originally never intended to be published, is being published in segments. Because of the way it was written, Helen lent itself to segmentation, many of the episodes being essentially self-contained.
The exception is one suite of adventures which had such a major impact on Helen’s life story that it defies treatment as a mere episode; in fact it takes over the entire saga. This thread spans decades, starting from when she began to teach at Westfield College.
Ten years after Helen graduated from college, she had brain surgery which resulted in total amnesia, which was temporary. Ten years further along, Helen is operated on once again for yet another tumor, resulting in amnesia once again. Sita, Helen's costar from her movie, and who was in love with "Sharon Vuehl," the fictitious actress, was initially furious when she discovered that Sharon really did not exist. But Helen's charm is such that she persuaded Sita to forgive her. But now, Sita is in love with Helen instead, though Helen is in a committed relationship with another woman. This story relates the history of Helen up to the point where she begins to relate to her circle immediately after the surgery, and how her friends and family, for whom Helen was an important resource, learn to cope with this new Helen.