Nicola Barry grew up in a well-to-do family—her father was a hospital consultant, her mother was medically trained, and her brothers were 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 much of her childhood as her mother's unofficial caregiver: 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 humor, 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.