This book looks at dysfunction in families by exploring the effects of shame and guilt. I like the idea of using fairy tales to show that in shame and guilt ridden families kids are expected to be perfect and live up to unrealistic expectations, and that instead of forming real and honest relationships with adults who accept them as they are, they find they have to join the family game and deny their true selves and take responsibility for the pain and shame of their parents. A lot of it does make sense. However the book is depressing. The author spends 5 chapters and 102 pages explaining how kids and adults from these families are affected by guilt and shame, which is miserably accurate, and only 1 chapter and 3 pages concluding that "there is no magic wand" and a few small paragraphs on sharing pain with other people to get past the shame and guilt people often hide and feel trapped by. I felt like I'd been led into a dark dungeon and left there! I got the impression that the author had made some recovery from a painful shameful past but seemed unwilling to share more than a couple of sentences on this. Personally I felt the book was out of balance. A very long book about everything that can go wrong with barely any advice on how to put things right in the future. Hopeless. I was glad when I finished reading it and felt the need to find another book to cheer myself up!