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Summary

Mark and Giulia fell for each other in their teens, married in their 20s, and didn't realise what their love would demand of them until Giulia suffered a terrifying and unexpected psychotic break at the age of 27. 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 doctors' 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 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 whom 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.

©2017 Mark Lukach (P)2017 Harper Audio

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Wow!

I cried, I laughed & I pondered. As a mental illness sufferer with a husband & sons, this book helped me face my fears head on. But mostly it gave me hope. I'm well now but the dark clouds always seem to circle. You've gotta ride the waves & their story really did help me see that once more. Yes

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Incredibly moving

This is nothing short of incredible. The way the author lets you in to his and his family's experience leaves you feeling you have been on a journey with these remarkable people. I was rooting for Mark and Giulia right from the start and I felt their pain, their joy and their hope. It is a fierce, honest, loving portrayal of a marriage rocked by serious mental health problems. Through all of it Mark's devotion to Giulia shines through, and he takes you with him in the experience of loving Giulia and helping her be well. He is brave in his honesty about how hard it is at times, delving into his own reactions, fears and resentments, which makes this a truly balanced and full impression of a terribly difficult situation.

It doesn't matter that the narrator is someone other than Mark himself. The narrator reads the book beautifully and sensitively, and with emotion that suggests this story got under his skin. Which is not surprising because it's so incredibly moving.

There are harrowing and disturbing details about Guilia's psychosis that will stay with me a long time. But there is also a lingering positive feeling of the power of love and the amazing ability of humans to fight, survive and live a full life.

Above all one comes away from this book wishing nothing but the absolute best for this amazing little family - and I hope we get another instalment to hear how they are getting on.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant

A must read! Describes a husband's battles with a wife who has mental illness brilliantly. Great insight!

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Real and moving

Heart wrenching and heart warming insight into mental ill health and it's effect on the ill person and on their family.