In My Mother’s Hands was short-listed for ​The NSW Premier’s Douglas Stweart Prize for Non-Fiction, 2015. The judges wrote: Biff Ward’s charismatic father, Russel, was a celebrated, sometimes controversial, historian; her mother, Margaret, suffered from an undiagnosed mental illness for most of her adult life. Like the prim white gloves with which Margaret hid her mutilated hands, the Wards’ conventional exterior concealed fear, silences and the mysterious death of a baby girl. In My Mother’s Hands offers a clear‐eyed account of a family’s struggle with mental illness at a time when the nature of that illness was not well understood and difference was stigmatised. Balancing compassion and candour, Ward draws nuanced portraits of both her parents. She recounts the unhappy consequences of her mother’s condition: the ineffective and harrowing medical interventions, terrifying episodes when the illness flared, and the emotional alienation and shame her mother’s peculiarity created within the family. Ward is also frank about her father’s personal shortcomings, while sympathising with his deep sense of frustration and dismay at his wife’s disturbing behaviour. Written without a trace of self‐pity, this is an insightful and moving memoir built around the author’s quest to untangle the puzzle of her sister’s.