Mark and Giulia have a wonderful life, a strong relationship and a future to look forward to. What they didn’t know was that their lives and relationships were going to be tested by Giulia developing a severe mental illness. This lead to her being hospitalised, suicidal and unable to trust anyone around her. Later, after the birth of their son, Giulia is again hospitalised but how does Mark care for his child and support his wife.
For anyone who has been in the grips of mental illness or knows someone who has been affected this is a challenging read because it is so real. Mark talks about the lack of movement from medical professionals, the lack of beds and the lack of information. I know that for me, personally, this was a tough read because it’s one of the things that scares me most about mental ill health.
That said, what I celebrated most about this book is that Mark does not shy away from how hard it is to cope with a partner with a mental health condition because it’s true. He shares his pain, bewilderment and anger at the situation and his feeling of wanting to run and escape, not because he doesn’t love his wife, but because it’s hard.
This isn’t all doom and gloom, there is a lot of love in this book and most importantly hope. This chronicles finding a new way to love and a new way to move forward in a relationship when the unexpected is thrown at you, which happens more than people would like to admit. They have still found a way to laugh and love, which is important.
I’ve never read a book like this before and while I was nervous going in, I now recommend it to everyone. This is what long-term love is. This is fighting through together and doing what needs to be done for the other person, even if they may not thank you in the moment. I gave this five stars. Not only was it brilliantly written it meant a lot to me to see the other side. I’d love to read more from Mark about his life with Giulia and their future.