An extraordinary memoir of abuse, survival and recovery in the tradition of Bad Blood and Once in A House on Fire Shirley Painter is 83 years old. She shouldn't be. When she was four years old she was so badly injured she was pronounced dead and taken to the morgue. the man who so severely injured her was her father. told in the third person, this is the story of how a young girl survived growing up in a volatile household in the 1920s and 1930s. How school - and later university - became her escape route from a family filled with secrets and violence. It is also a story of how, as a mature woman and a mother herself, she came to face what had happened to her as a child. How she had to bring long-buried memories into the light in order to move on. Beautifully written, this is a disturbing, compelling and ultimately inspirational story.