Emilie's story is immensely readable but, in many ways, it's a difficult one. A strange childhood by the sea in rural Essex, an eccentric, intellectual mother and a reserved father gave this baby boomer, growing up in a changing world, an oddly skewed perspective. Moves to Surrey and the busy, prosperous south-east proved to be a mixed blessing. Articled to a firm of solicitors, Emilie met and fell in love with a young barrister. But it was not to be; their heartbreaking farewell on Waterloo Bridge, beautifully recorded here, seems to have sealed Emilie's fate. What made her then enter into a disastrous marriage with a sick and vindictive man? Like many other women, even today, Emilie gave up a career, took part-time work and became a carer for her husband. His response - anger, envy and greed - and her momentous decision to leave him form the core of this salutary tale. Her purpose is to warn others that no hell is worth enduring just to avoid the stigma of failure. And from failure the author has plucked success, with new interests, a renewed sense of self and, in Hilaire Belloc's warm words, laughter and the love of friends.