Dedication: For Mary with love.
Author's note: Experience, memory and imagination all play a part in this novel and it prompts me to sound a note of caution. Experience, for a writer, is mostly compost, and memory, being linked to emotion, is notoriously unreliable. It would therefore be a mistake to assume the narrator's voice is mine, or that other characters and events are based more on reality than on imagination.
Epigraph: Society, as we have constituted it, will have no place for me, has none to offer; but Nature, whose sweet rains fall on unjust and just alike, will have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence I may weep undisturbed. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk abroad in the darkness without stumbling and send the wind over my footprints so that none may track me to my hurt; she will cleanse me in great waters, and with bitter herbs make me whole. De Profundis. Oscar Wilde.
Epigraph: We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are. From a poster in a psychologist's waiting room.