As a newborn, January sleeps for only 20 minutes at a time. As a one-year-old she speaks in complete sentences. At two she asks about negative numbers. By three she has literally hundreds of imaginary friends. All the signs suggest she's gifted. But when her baby brother Bodhi arrives January's behaviour becomes increasingly violent, her never-ending delusions and hallucinations interspersed with paroxysms of rage that eventually force her parents to live in separate adjoining apartments. This harrowing memoir is the desperate story of Michael's mission to find out what is wrong with his highly intelligent daughter. As he does the rounds of child psychologists, doctors and locked hospital wards, the author provides an unflinchingly honest account of parenting, as well as an indictment of the lack of care for children with severe mental illness. But above all, January First shows the passionate dedication of a father who refuses to give up on his little girl even as her behaviour becomes ever more alien.
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