The obvious solution suggested by the book could possibly explain how James can so accurately recall what occurred prior. It does not, however, provide any sort of basis to enable him to lead a normal life given his state prior to arriving on the West Coast. Alternatively, perhaps the "slow, comfortable domestic life" Jones/James finds on the West Coast and the entire story is nothing more than a schizophrenic hallucination or his psychosis translating a troubled life into a good one in the mind only. If that is the case, though, then James is nothing but a fantasy created by an addled mind, completely undermining if not negating the book's exploration and resolution of its core struggle — the one to overcome mental illness. In either case, Journey Back plainly demonstrates how significantly the choice of narrative voice can impact whether a book achieves its purpose.