The book, with 457 pages, including the appendices and bibliography, is divided into 11 chapters. The first three chapters explain how longitudinal studies work, describe the study sample, and tell a captivating history of the Grant Study. The next chapter seeks to explain how childhood and adolescence affect old age, concluding that while a loving childhood is a lifelong source of strength, it is possible to recover from a bleak early life experience. The story develops further in the subsequent chapter, as Vaillant analyzes maturity and its link to successful aging. The following chapter is devoted to emotional intimacy, marriage, and mental health. Then the author deciphers factors that might account for extraordinary longevity and predict healthy aging. The next chapter examines involuntary coping strategies and suggests that maturity of defenses is a predictor of mental health in older age and future mental health. The subsequent chapter analyzes alcohol abuse and its destructive effects on individual development, interpersonal relationships (including marriages), and well-being in later life. The following chapter offers a plethora of surprising study outcomes, such as the extraordinary association between the older age at death of maternal grandmothers and better mental health of their grandsons. Finally, the author sums up the findings and recommends topics that might be of interest for future research. The appendices offer a useful collection of interview schedules and assessment scales.