First up, a beautiful memoir (and international bestseller) that casts an honest light on the impact of mental illness on marriage and family:

My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward by Mark Lukach

From the publisher:

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 eighteen, married at twenty-four, and were living their dream life in San Francisco. When Giulia was twenty-seven, 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 who 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 readers’ faith in the power of love.

Next, an “oldie” (from 2013) but goodie (fun and light, but with thoughtful moments) by the author of Big Little Lies and The Husband’s Secret:

The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty

From the publisher:

Ellen O’Farrell is a professional hypnotherapist who works out of the eccentric beachfront home she inherited from her grandparents. It’s a nice life, except for her tumultuous relationship history. She’s stoic about it, but at this point, Ellen wouldn’t mind a lasting one. When she meets Patrick, she’s optimistic. He’s attractive, single, employed, and best of all, he seems to like her back. Then comes that dreaded moment: He thinks they should have a talk.

Braced for the worst, Ellen is pleasantly surprised. It turns out that Patrick’s ex-girlfriend is stalking him. Ellen thinks, Actually, that’s kind of interesting. She’s dating someone worth stalking. She’s intrigued by the woman’s motives. In fact, she’d even love to meet her.

Ellen doesn’t know it, but she already has.

And finally, one of my very favourite things about June…

The wedding singers! Nope, not a book or movie…my two little loves who made their debut as wedding musicians at the marriage of their cousin and neighbour, Victoria to Tommy (with their talented Daddy on the piano). It was such a special experience for them, and it was a beautiful country wedding (with reception held in right in Victoria’s family’s barn…we walked home!)

I have a feeling there will be lots to share in next month’s edition as well…

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