Written with a cool-eyed compassion, this is a fascinating examination of the bittersweet experiments of '60s child rearing, of which Cuddihy was both a victim and a beneficiary. I found it deeply moving.Esther Freud
[An] evocative memoir
Cuddihy survived her damaged childhood both because of and despite her time at Summerhill. This paradox lies at the centre of her well-written and moving memoir.
[A] thoughtful and nuanced account.
She writes with vivid truthfulness, even-handed and observant... A fascinating document of an age and a mindset.
The ironies within this compulsively readable account of Sixties child-rearing are many. The 'happiness' of the title Is clearly debatable, and yet the plight of the orphaned family - victims of thoughtless, selfish adults - is recounted with a commendable lack of emotion.
As a chilling portrait of the abuse of children - especially read in the context of all the current outrage - it is an impressive and disturbing work
Cuddihy's craft is to elicit our sympathy in non-combative style... Cuddihy's triumph is to remain balanced throughout, leaving us to feel the spills.
Times Literary Supplement