Nicola Barry grew up in well-to-do Murrayfield, Edinburgh. Her father was a hopsital consultant, her mother was medically trained, her brothers boarders at public school. But behind the closed doors of their imposing family home, her mother was drinking herself to death. A beautiful, quirky woman, this is the story of how Monica Barry became a prisoner to alcohol and a prisoner in her own home, her addiction slowly sucking the life out of her. And how - with her father at work, and her brothers away at school - Nicola spent a lot of her childhood as her mother's unofficial carer: hauling her from the bath when she was too drunk to function and running errands to buy her booze. Full of harrowing incidents, and warmed by a touching, bleak humour, this is the powerful story of how a mother drank herself to death and how alcohol destroyed a family. And of how Nicola battled with her own alcoholism but, determined to throw off her mother's legacy, came through - a survivor.