As a child, Murray Bruce Monk lived on a farm in rural Nova Scotia, where he cared for farm animals, fished, and helped with chores. At age six he moved to town so he could start school, returning to the country on weekends. As he grew older, he joined the Boy Scouts, then the Royal Canadian Army Cadets, learning first aid and training on weapons. He became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was ordained into the priesthood.
The author enlisted in the United States Army and lived in East Rochester, New York, with his wife. After three and a half years living in the US, his daughter was born with heart problems. His anxiety over this was so severe that he was hospitalized for a nervous breakdown. This was the beginning of the authors struggles with mental illness. He was treated with electroshock and medication. He moved several times, shuttling back and forth between Ontario and Nova Scotia, and held a number of different jobs to support his family. At the time his wife filed for divorce, the couple had three children. He remarried and had a son with his second wife, all the while dealing with mental instability and alcohol addiction, which he finally overcame.
This memoir draws readers into the world of a man who struggled all his life with bipolar disorder yet through faith and tenacity overcame challenges that had threatened to steal his life.