When Adair Lara's daughter Morgan turned 13, she was transformed from a sweet, loving child into an angry, secretive teenager who would neither listen nor be disciplined. The author, her youngest son, Patrick, her ex-husband, Jim, and her new husband, Bill, began a five-year roller-coaster ride with Morgan. Drinking, drugging, disappearing, suspicious companions, failing and cheating at school, joy-riding in a stolen car, there was no variety of adolescent acting out that she didn't indulge in. For Lara it became an endless sojourn at the end of her rope, a trial immensely complicated by the reappearance in her life of her aging father, a man who had abandoned his wife and seven children decades earlier. Inevitably, Morgan's misbehaviour revives memories of her own headstrong adolescence, while her father's presence makes agonisingly real for her the consequences of giving up. Paradoxically, he also becomes the source of her best advice.