"A Life Apart" is about the interrelationships of a family beset with crises. At the outset of their story, each member of the Paxton family seems content to pursue his/her life goals separately and single-mindedly. Any signs of discontent are buried beneath the surface until outside influences are brought to bear on this family, first by the mysterious malady that afflicts the daughter and then by the father's software business entanglements. Much of the novel's story is driven by John Paxton's overweening ambition to profit from the development of software that might change the balance of military power on future battlefields. That ambition puts Paxton's company squarely between the countervailing powers of governments and spies. Those forces further aggravate issues within Paxton's family that threaten to drive its members further apart. His wife is drifting towards a neurotic breakdown. His son is addicted to cocaine; and his daughter continues to suffer from misdiagnosed blackouts. But it is the daughter's inward journey and transformation that holds the key to liberating this dysfunctional family from both its internal disconnect and external threats. Her developing spirituality shines a light on a path that brings the other family members together. Her story ironically begins at its end. But the journey to that end is retold with the foresight of a wisdom dearly won.