I could not put this book down. It is a fascinating account of a lifelong struggle with bipolar illness and the effect it has not only on the person diagnosed but on her friends and family as well. Marya (pronounced MAR-ya) Hornbacher is an incredible writer and I was constantly amazed at the idea that she could hold together the life she did and be a successful writer while struggling so desperately with this overwhelming illness. I was at turns hopeful then despairing then back to determined hopefulness - (much as she lives her life). She skillfully swept me up in the whirlwind of her manic episodes and the epic crashes of the depressive underbelly of each cycle. This is the first book I have read by Ms. Hornbacher, and now I must read her previous works and anything new she puts out as well, starting with her best seller "Wasted" about her struggle with anorexia. I have learned much about bipolar disorder by reading her account, including that it is very common for bipolar sufferers to struggle with other issues such as eating disorders and alcoholism and often it is these issues that are treated rather than the underlying cause of them all, which is of course, the bipolar disorder. I would highly recommend this book to people suffering with bipolar disorder as well as their families. She includes many helpful resources at the end of the book where help can be sought and additional research be undertaken.