My Lovely Wife

Mark Lukach

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28 June 2018
9781509805969
320 pages
Synopsis

Mark and Giulia fell for each other in their teens, married in their 20s, and didn't realize what their love would demand of them until Giulia suffered a terrifying and unexpected psychotic break at the age of twenty-seven. Hospitalized for almost a month, she was tormented by delusions and paranoia. Upon release, she sunk into an extended suicidal depression during which Mark, struggling to support Giulia, was torn between the demands of keeping her safe and following doctor's orders, and honouring her independence and making her feel loved.

Eventually, Giulia fully recovered, and the couple had a son. Soon after Jonas was born, Giulia had another breakdown, and then a third a few years after that. Pushed to the edge of the abyss, everything the couple had once taken for granted was upended. In My Lovely Wife, Mark Lukach takes us through these harrowing years with compassion and candour, as he and Giulia renegotiate their relationship, anchored by an abiding devotion to each other and their family.

A story of the fragility of the mind, and the tenacity of the human spirit, My Lovely Wife is, above all, a love story that raises profound questions: How do we best care for the people we love? What and who do we live for? Breathtaking in its honesty, radiant with compassion, written with dazzling lyricism, this intensely personal odyssey offers much-needed insight into the caregiving side of mental illness, and affirms the power of love.

A dazzling, loving and hugely courageous book

The Times

A compassionate and deeply honest account

Guardian

This gorgeous memoir gives readers a raw and unvarnished account of what it’s like to live with and love someone with a severe mental illness. There are moments of gut-wrenching sadness—but, ultimately, the story is hopeful, even triumphant. This book basically tore out my heart and then lovingly sewed it back in place

Susannah Cahalan, author of Brain on Fire