Heart raked by the confirmation of horrors visited on babies, and mothers, in Tuam – well done, Catherine Corless and Judge Yvonne Murphy – John de St Jorre's memoir, Darling Baby Mine: A Son's Extraordinary Search for His Mother, detailing the story of his mother's disappearance, when he was four, her memory excised by his father, landed in fertile ground. St Jorre, a foreign correspondent for the Observer in Africa and the Middle East, presumed she was dead. A search that went in fits and starts suddenly struck gold: he found an aunt, Olive, and then Grace, his mum. Institutionalised for almost 40 years after a spat of baby blues, condemned never to see her two sons, or the outside world, again, to brutal leucotomies, to ECT and to drugs, Grace miraculously re-emerges. Precious days are spent together. Recognition and love flourish. Unexpectedly, Grace has a postop stroke and dies. On his last visit she is disorientated and adrift. Suddenly the clouds clear. "I am in a university here," she tells her son. "What are you studying?" "Courage." Three days later she is dead. I cried and cried.