This is, directly, the story of one family's exposure to mental illness after the shocked and surprised discovery that their son, in his early twenties, is a schizophrenic; indirectly it is a lesson in the better understanding of this kind of disease through the experiences of the Woolsons- as uninformed and ill prepared as the average person who has been exempt from any contact with it. When Jim first calls his father, from a small town in the south, to say he is being pursued and persecuted, his father does not question that this is so. Two months later, still trailed by the same delusory ""they"", Jim is removed from a jail to meet the psychiatrist's verdict-schizophrenia with an overtone of paranoia. After six weeks of shock therapy, Woolson takes his boy to New York, puts him in the hands of a psychiatrist, cooperates in every way, but still does not realize some months later that Jim is having another and as serious a withdrawal. There is another hospitalization, a second only partial prognosis of relief, the continuing financial bind (the Woolsons have no further funds) which makes his release necessary, the reluctance to commit him to a state institution, and finally Jim's total disappearance.... Simple people up against a complex disease and their sincere if sometimes wishfully inept attempts to deal with it- this provides a story which has immediacy and sympathy for any parent.