Dr. Perry Baird, a rising medical star in the late 1920s and 1930s, presciently began to study the biochemical root of manic depression, just as he began to suffer from it himself. By the time the results of his groundbreaking experiments were published, Dr. Baird had been institutionalized multiple times, his medical license revoked, and his family estranged. He later received a lobotomy and died from a consequent seizure, his research incomplete, his achievements unrecognized.
Mimi Baird grew up never fully knowing her father’s story. Decades later, a string of surprising coincidences led to the recovery of a manuscript that Dr. Baird had worked on throughout his brutal institutionalization, confinement, and escape. This remarkable document, reflecting periods of both manic exhilaration and clear-headed health, presents a startling portrait of a man who was a uniquely astute observer of his own condition, struggling with a disease for which there was no cure, racing against time to unlock the key to treatment before his illness became impossible to manage.
Fifty years after being told her father would forever be “away,” Mimi Baird embarked on a crusade to piece together the memoir and the man, to understand the legacy she had inherited…
(Synopsis from Broadway Book paperback edition; image from goodreads.com)
As soon as my copy of He Wanted the Moon by Mimi Baird arrived in the mail, I immediately wanted to start reading the May book for the Pi Beta Phi book club, Pi Phi Pages. However, I have a rule about my book club books and that is to finish the previous month’s book before I start the next one, so I knew I had to finish reading Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand before I could start He Wanted the Moon. (You can read my review of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand here.) Continue reading