Saturday, 20 May 2017

Beloved Stranger - Clare Boylan

Another of those "Cinderella" books (left on my shelves for too long) which I am pleased to have found and read at last.  Superficially, this is the story of a marriage - a marriage of 50 years. Married young;  Dick, young, handsome and sexy; Lily, young, pretty and submissive.  Their marriage has been long and happy,  it has produced one child.

But after a frightening incident one night, Dick is diagnosed as bi-polar.  As we read, we realise that his "moods" throughout the marriage have a root cause.  And when he suffers an episode of paranoia, he is sectioned.  And now we begin the see how Lily has relied on Dick for their life.  We also see how much Dick has relied on Lily for every home comfort.  We also realise that we only know what people want to tell us and behind closed doors, things may be very different.  Dick's paranoia worsens; Ruth their daughter attempts to help but she has a different view of the marriage to her mother.  Very readable with a metaphorical "kick in the bollocks" at the very end.

A serious look at mental illness through the looking glass of a loving couple, this may make you think "what if.....".  Sady, Boylan, who died in 2006, didn't write enough books for me.  This is the last one I had on the shelves, although there are a couple to seek out.