Nick Demetrious is torn. His twenty-five-year-old wife, Amy, suffers from depression and obsessive compulsive disorder, and Nick is in over his head. But admitting her to the Lynwood Psychiatric Hospital in Michigan would feel like surrender. On the eve of their daughter’s first birthday in 1966, it becomes painfully evident that Nick has no choice. Amy’s wasted, eighty-pound body and listless eyes haunt his conscience, and if he doesn’t do something now, she might not be around for their daughter’s second year.
While Amy endures shock treatments and becomes reliant on tranquilizers, Nick struggles with the fear that his love won’t be enough to guard against the demons that caused her illness. Faced with conflicting advice from health professionals, family, and friends, the stigma of mental illness, and a sexual temptation he never saw coming, he is propelled into a world of uncertainty.
When Amy returns home, disillusioned by psychiatry’s limited methods, she turns to self-help organizations and her own determination for healing and growth. Her newfound strength and independence force Nick to question his role as protector, and mark the beginning of a journey of self-discovery that will span the rest of their marriage.
From 1966 to the present, Desert Lily is the bittersweet story of one couple’s resolve to build their marriage into a balanced and joyful partnership.
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