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Submitted Literature

Beloved Stranger

By Clare Boylan


Late-onset mood disorder is examined in this novel, as a long-married couple are rocked by the husband’s descent into mania, his hospitalisation and his wife’s struggle to cope, manifested through drinking heavily and stopping eating, with the sudden loss of the husband she has known. The novel serves as a stark reminder of the need to acknowledge and involve life partners in decision making regarding long and short term care, a fact emphasised through the disempowering experiences of all involved.

Key Themes:

  • Bipolar Affective Disorder
  • Carer Issues
  • Revealing Reads
  • Violence

Significant Quotes / Pages

57 - “ ‘Mad, senseless, deranged, mental, insane, confused, demented, crazy.’  Crumbs spluttered as he expounded. ‘Deranged might do.  Have you a dictionary?’ […] ‘Deranged…here we are!’ […] ‘Thrown into disorder.  That's about right.  We won't say he's mad any more. […] We’ll say deranged”

Reference: Clare, Boylan. 2000. Beloved Stranger. London: Abacus, 2000


- Charley Baker
Date Review Submitted: Friday 20th March 2009