Carol has always resented her family--her mother, endlessly knitting, her father and his obsession with next door's encroaching garden hedge, and her brother, ever silent and scheming. So when she is invited to meet the vibrant, bohemian family next door in their messy house full of books and paintings and empty of rules, Carol soon begins a secret double life over the much-hated garden hedge. Here Carol voices her greatest fantasy and tells her first major lie--that she is adopted. But on her 16th birthday Carol receives the shock of her life when her wish comes true. And as, years later, Carol frenetically narrates her story from a psychiatric unit, we realise how it affected her and those around her in the darkest of ways.