'Louise and John McLaughlin no longer share a bedroom. John sleeps alone, his face buried beneath an oxygen mask, his wooden body wrapped in a gingham blanket. Louise misses sharing a bed with her husband but she hasn't surrendered their intimacy. She can still stroke John's face and kiss his lips. It is an intimacy of sorts - less sexual but far deeper than anything the couple experienced before John became a quadriplegic... "When someone you love almost dies in front of you, something happens inside you. It changes everything," Louise says, lifting John's hand from the wheelchair and placing it in her own. "I think I love him more now than I ever have." '
This absorbing collection of love stories intimately explores and celebrates the enduring love of twelve very different Australian couples. Written by Suzy Zail, with arresting images by Melanie Faith-Dove, Smitten captures the transformative power of lasting love.
Published to coincide with Valentine’s Day, this absorbing collection of stories casts light on how we find love and hold on to it, through the true stories of couples that have survived challenges
including infidelity, family opposition, illness, gender reassignment and separation.
One woman tells how she married her fiancée in a nursing home after he became a quadriplegic.
Another couple describe the challenge of maintaining a relationship after gender reassignment
surgery. An African refugee describes the pain of separation as she waits for her husband to join her in Australia.
The couples who share their stories have a diversity of experience – whether they live in separate
homes, have open marriages, met over the internet or fell in love after an arranged marriage – every one of them has been changed by the experience of loving another and being loved in return.
Smitten is a glimpse into lasting romance, a portrait – in words and pictures – of twelve remarkable couples. Real couples, whose lives are studded – as life is – with pain, light, laughter and love.