Greenburg lives a somewhat normal life: a life with his wife Pat and daughter Sally, an ex-wife who lives in another state, a son who's off a school, an older brother he needs to carefully take care of, and a pretty large family. When he returns home one day and notices police cars outside of his home, he thinks they must be for some other family. He soon learns that his daughter was acting erratically which brought police attention. It goes downhill from there. His daughter literally cracks up, and Greenburg is required to take her to a mental institution and leave her there.
What results is Greenburg and his family's journey through Sally's illness. His relationship with his wife is tested and he questions whether his family history has affected Sally and brought this mental illness on her through no fault of her own. They go through different stages of acceptance and treatment in what is an interesting journey.
It's hard to imagine how someone can live with the uncertainty of how a loved one is going to act at any given time. He also had to live with not knowing whether this was it for his daughter - was she ever going to be "cured"? Would she ever lead a normal life again? Quite an interesting perspective on mental illness.
First Line: "On July 5, 1996, my daughter was struck mad."