One day, years after he's moved away from his childhood home in rural Ireland, Dermot Healy returns to care for his ailing mother. Out of the blue she hands him the forgotten diary he had kept as a fifteen-year-old. He is amazed to find the makings of the writer he has become, as well as taken aback at the changes his memory has wrought upon the events of the past. Here is the seed of his story-the vision of the boy meets the memory of the man-which creates a stunning, illusory effect. The strange silhouettes who have haunted his past come back to inhabit these pages: his father, a kind policeman who guides him back to bed when he stumbles down the stairs sleepwalking; his mother, whose stories young Dermot has heard so often that he believes they are his own; or Aunt Masie, whose early disappointment in love has left her both dreamy and cynical.