The story begins with psychologist Dr Katherine Moore’s last day at her Auckland therapy clinic. Succumbing to family pressure, she agrees to return to England to care for her elderly mother who is terminally ill. Arriving in Liverpool, Katherine is surprised at how negative her mother has become, so unlike the idealistic view she has maintained of her ‘lovely gentle mammy’. After having spent 36 years living in NZ while her sisters have been ‘run ragged’ by their mother’s demands, a time of reckoning has arrived. Katherine’s unsuccessful attempts to deal with her mother’s curmudgeonly attitude initially provide great entertainment for the family.
To help her cope with this challenging situation, Katherine turns to the ‘tools of her trade’ as a psychologist, and soon the mother/daughter relationship develops into an extraordinary therapeutic alliance. Katherine teaches her mother to meditate and via guided imagery returns her to the dance halls of Liverpool in the 1940s. Her mother’s successful ‘mind-dancing’ exceeds all expectations.
The delicate balance of routine life is further upset when Katherine’s rational scientifically trained views come into direct conflict with the family’s superstitious beliefs and obsession with the paranormal. After the mother’s death and before returning to NZ, Katherine encounters incidents that can’t be rationally explained. These feelings force her to conclude that she is either facing her own madness or that something of a paranormal nature is taking place. These bizarre experiences strongly challenge her scepticism and beliefs…
Doreen Davy was born and raised in Bootle, Liverpool and now lives in New Zealand where she works as a psychologist specialising in cognitive behaviour therapy.