Grace Albright begins her therapy an emotionless, despairing woman, almost 60, ready to die. Dr. Wilder's unconventional psychotherapy takes her from hostile resistance following her attempted suicide to a place where long-repressed memories of the shocking psychological and sexual abuse she suffered in foster homes as a child come to light. In therapy sessions and in the startlingly candid journal she writes, Grace relives the tumultuous period of her life between the Great Depression and the Nineteen-fifties.
When the disillusioned Dr. Wilder takes a pistol to his own chest, it becomes shockingly clear just how disturbed he has been, and the damaging tyranny of Dr. Wilder's successful but demeaning physician father is revealed. Dr. Wilder survives the act, but must find a way to go on living. And what of Grace?
Grace recalls her painful youth. At the age of six, following the death of her mother, she is taken from the warm nurturing of her birth home. Grace's suffering intensifies while in the clutches of her foster parents, the Speans, a deeply troubled couple with one son, the only survivor of a brood of babies who died as infants. The bitter and sadistic Mrs. Spean dominates her son and husband and acts out her vitriol in three years of sadistic abuse of Grace.
Through therapy, Grace is able to unburden herself and move ahead with her life, completing dreams long left dormant. Meanwhile, Dr. Wilder draws hope and inspiration from Grace's courage. Strengthened by their mutual relationship of healing and revelation, Grace and Dr. Wilder both survive.
This report prepared by Gar Roper