No matter how old we are, or how far from home, our family remains with us - we share their looks and gestures, social values and concept of "home." Yet we often fail to connect with family members, and in remarkable ways our early experiences with family are repeated with marriage partners and children. In this revelatory book, esteemed family therapist Monica McGoldrick explores why families behave as they do, using genograms (family trees) to illustrate family patterns. Mapped out over a three-generation span, repeated estrangements, alliances, even divorces and suicides prove more than coincidental. McGoldrick uses the genograms of famous families - including the Kennedys, Hepburns, Beethovens, Brontes, and the family of the Marx Brothers - to discuss the influence of birth order and sibling rivalry, family myths and secrets, cultural differences, couple relationships, and the pivotal role of loss. Relevant questions we can ask ourselves appear at the end of each chapter, helping the reader to become researcher, uncovering information previously withheld, misunderstood, or overlooked. There is a saying, "Those who cannot remember the past are recommended to repeat it." The message here is positive: once we reconnect with the past, McGoldrick tells us, we can choose our futures.