This biography tells the shocking story of a family with twelve children, six of whom are schizophrenic. The book chronicles the lives of the Galvin family as one by one their sons are diagnosed with this horrific disease. We are witness to the violence, abuse and chaos that runs rampant within the house on Hidden Valley Road. Each sick son has schizophrenia in varying degrees, all severe, and we see how the parents and healthy siblings are impacted due to such turbulent circumstances. In alternating chapters the author explores the family's life, and the psychiatric community at the time (1960’s-1970’s) and how it scrutinized the question of nature vs. nurture related to the development of schizophrenia. Eventually the Galvin family became a primary (and ideal) model for the study of genetics and behavior, testing and interviewing the sick boys, parents, and unaffected siblings for many years.
Fascinating story and extremely informative. ~ Reviewed by Jen Grigsby