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Publisher's Summary

A heart-wrenching yet hopeful memoir of a young marriage that is redefined by mental illness and affirms the power of love.

Mark and Giulia's life together began as a storybook romance. They fell in love at 18, married at 24, and were living their dream life in San Francisco. When Giulia was 27, she suffered a terrifying and unexpected psychotic break that landed her in the psych ward for nearly a month. One day she was vibrant and well adjusted; the next she was delusional and suicidal, convinced that her loved ones were not safe.

Eventually Giulia fully recovered, and the couple had a son. But 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.

A story of the fragility of the mind and the tenacity of the human spirit, My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward is, above all, a love story that raises profound questions: How do we care for the people we love? What and whom do we live for? Breathtaking in its candor, radiant with compassion, and written with dazzling lyricism, Lukach's is an intensely personal odyssey through the harrowing years of his wife's mental illness, anchored by an abiding devotion to family that will affirm listeners' faith in the power of love.

©2017 Mark Lukach (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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touched me so much

This book really tugged on my heart . It was so honest and raw. I felt myself relate as a person who struggled with depression. I also related on a basic human level. At times I felt angry at Julia and sorry for Mark. I realize that this is the problem. We do not put enough understanding into mental health. I am sure that if there was anyway that she could have controlled her psychotic episodes then she would have. what a great book. now I need to make up the sleep for the two nights that I lost from not being able to put this book down.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Loving Tribute to a Wife by a Committed Husband

This is really more of a true account by the loving husband caring for his sick wife. We see her struggles with an unforgiving illness in the eyes of someone who will stand by her no matter what they face. People should be so lucky to experience that kind of love. This was excellently written and narrated. Difficult at times, but important to hear. Beautiful.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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beautiful story!

i love the book and the narrator. is a sad and emotional book. the last chapters are to repetitive dor the situations but is real life. and real life sometimes is like that.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful, raw & honest peak into mental illness

Where does My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I loved this book. It was a beautiful, raw & honest peak into mental illness. I liked that it was from the caregivers perspective. Other books I've read are from the individual's perspective. I too struggle from bipolar, and I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in it. It's not a walk in the park, but people who suffer with this mental illness are worth fighting for and giving a voice to. Bipolar can't be cured, but it can be managed to allow the individual to live a relatively normal life.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mark, the husband. He stayed true to his wedding vows and stayed with his wife through thick and thin.

Which scene was your favorite?

Oddly enough, I liked the scene when she quit going off her medication. It shows how important it is to stay on your medication even if you feel like you're okay without it. A diabetic wouldn't stop taking insulin and expect to be fine, and the same holds true with mental illness. There's no shame in being on medication to help you keep your life on track. It's not your fault your chemicals and hormones are out of balance. I think it's largely due to genetics.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I definitely cried in parts. It struck close to home many times.

Any additional comments?

I would hope anyone who reads this that does not suffer or does not have a loved one who suffers from mental illness would gain some empathy toward people who do.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Important story but wouldn’t recommend

What is intended to be a moving and life-changing story comes off as a cheesy Lifetime movie. Mark’s story is very important to tell, but I feel like it could’ve been told in a TedTalk. There were many times when we were informed of his everyday, mundane activities that added nothing to the story. Though it is human to feel anger and resentment in this unfair situation, it came off as whiny to me. These stories are relevant to my life,coming from a family with mental illness and working in the psych field. But I wouldn’t recommend this one. The narrator doesn’t help. The different voices used were unnecessary for a memoir.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good story, annoying narration

I found the narrator's character voices to be incredibly annoying. I get that he was distinguishing the people in the story, but this is a memoir and such distinctions are unnecessary and distracting. I try to only listen to memoirs narrated by the author, but I found the book topic to be compelling.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Heavy but Powerful

Heavy book but important narrative. I met the author and he is every bit as amazing ad sensitive as this book makes him seem.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Saint Mark

This was a very touching memoir. It reads very much like fiction. Narration was good and neither added nor detracted from the story.

I was so impressed by Mark's devotion. I was similarly perplexed by Julia's breakdown, her treatment, and her lifetime of mental health issues ahead. I cannot wrap my mind around the psychology of how a high functioning perfectly adapted lady, could go on to have a psychotic break (after psychotic break), debilitating depression and suicidal ideation. As I listened it became clear that the medical community in which Julia/Mark become entrenched was equally perplexed. What a frustration for patients, family members, and doctors alike.

I came to think of Mark as a saint. I'm not sure I could have remained so devoted when it seemed there was little levity even in times of wellness; particularly once Jonas arrived and he rightfully became the new priority. On that note, I was particularly disappointed in Julia and her parenting, as she more often than not seemed disinterested, which was infuriating. She is very lucky to have Mark.

I read this book with interest and curiosity. It is a compelling story/listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Absolutely perfection!

This book is so lovely and really shows a side to mental illness we all need to see. There are so many people affected everyday with this and we need to be more aware and more caring!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Beautiful. Honest. Raw.

What a beautiful and honest story. This book shows that experiencing mental illness doesn't mean that your life is over. It's hard, it's painful but it's also full of beauty and growth and resilience and gratitude. So much love, respect, and admiration to you guys Mark, Giulia, and Jonas! 💖 thanks for sharing your story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful