In this searingly honest memoir, Jane Haynes recalls to her psychotherapist her extraordinary story. Having overcome her strange childhood, overshadowed by her mother's absence and father's descent into madness, the real diagnosis of which the family concealed, she attempts, vividly but without sentimentality, to understand the construction of her own life. Now a psychotherapist in her own right, Haynes opens up her case files, which include a gifted young man on the cusp of a nervous breakdown; the middle-aged woman tormented by suicidal thoughts; the pornography addict, unable to connect emotionally with his girlfriend. Tragedy is brought home to her when her son-in-law is murdered. Her account powerfully demonstrates the resilience and life force of human nature. 'I recommend it to anyone concerned with the life of the imagination' - Hilary Mantel.