Vera. Miriam, Laura - one family, three generations - with Miriam at the centre, balancing the needs of her mother and daughter with those of her marriage and career. Vera is slipping into the darkness of Alzheimer's disease, while Laura is embroiled in teenage conflicts of identity and sexuality. In her professional life, Miriam is able to help others unlock the past through the simple power of words. So, what prevents her from doing it for those closest to her? And for herself... ?The answer to this painful dilemma emerges not so much from within Miriam herself, but from the hard, raw experience of the migrant and refugee women she teaches. Their stories resonate with her own, and she finds herself sustained in her own crisis by their strength and laughter. In this sensitive exploration of memory, love and family, John Clanchy's writing reaches new levels of insight, while retaining its distinctive humour."Clanchy explores the big questions like love, death, betrayal and loss with a rare toughness and an even rarer insight... He is a highly accomplished writer."Mark Henshaw, ""Canberra Times""