Don't be put off by the rather cheap cover (resembling a clipart `cut and paste' job), An Unsolicited Gift is a rich and fascinating read.
Dr Dennis Friedman is a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and, we are told, has published innovative work on anxiety, stress-related illness and phobias. In this new book he presents his thesis that it is role of the mother, and the love that she gives or denies, that determines who we are. So far - so Freudian, but Friedman buries deep into the maternal/child relationship from the moment of birth ("the birthday gift") and through the formative years to give us an insight that far transcends the normal, somewhat simplistic analysis.
Friedman does not hold back from some fairly explicit references, the chapters on sexual deviation and prostitution are particularly graphic, but you never sense that this is gratuitous or anything other than necessary for the point being made.
The book is written for the lay reader but does not patronise or overly simplify what, at times, are some quite complex ideas. All in all, a highly recommended book for anyone interested in who and why they are.