A forensic reconstruction of novelist and journalist Jeremy Gavron's mother's state of mind, and a portrait of her complex, charismatic short life and of the events that precipitated her suicide when he was only four years old In London, 1965, a brilliant young woman--a prescient advocate for women's rights--has just gassed herself to death, leaving behind a suicide note, two young sons, and a soon-to-be-published book: The Captive Wife. No one had ever imagined that Hannah Gavron might take her own life. Beautiful, sophisticated, and swept up in the progressive '60s, she was a promising academic and the wife of a rising entrepreneur. But there was another side to Hannah, as Jeremy Gavron reveals in this searching portrait of his mother. Gavron--who was just four when his mother killed herself--attempts to piece her life together from letters, diaries, photos, and the memories of old acquaintances. Ultimately, he not only uncovers Hannah's struggle to carve out her place in a man's world; he examines the suffocating constrictions placed on every ambitious woman in the mid-twentieth century.