This is an Australian novel that addresses the deeply complicated relationship the main character Susie has with her mentally ill mother. She is an outsider who moves to Melbourne with her father, leaving her mother behind. Miss Kaye is the works at a psychiatric hospital and tells of how you can live and not just survive. Her subtle influence on Susie has a lasting effect. Growing up in the Sydney’s 1980s counterculture, Susie is deeply changed by her mother’s illness. The unpredictability of this relationship and the enduring instability and hurt are treated in a casual and wry way.