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Beloved Stranger [Paperback]

Clare Boylan
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 15.00
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Book Description

1 Jun 2000
Dick and Lily have been married for fifty years, and Lily finally believes that marriage is like an old tune you take for granted but find yourself whistling when you're happy. Until the night she wakes to find her husband's pyjama'd bottom poking out from under the bed. He claims there's an intruder and he's got him in his sights. When she turns on the light he backs out, holding a shotgun. 'Bugger got away when you created a diversion' he says. The comic incident marks the start of Dick's terrifying plunge into insanity. He enters a world of imaginary enemies, fantastic opportunities, sexual rivals. For an old-fashioned wife who accepted her partner for better or worse, there is nowhere left to turn except to her only daughter. Ruth, who has turned her back on emotional commitment in favour of good sex with good friends is now forced to penetrate the conspiratorial and chaotic web of her parents' marriage. Part love story, part thriller, BELOVED STRANGER is also, an analysis of marriage - a changeless institution in a vastly altered world, a private dictatorship where love and fear, tenderness or tyranny remain hidden at its heart.

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Beloved Stranger + Emma Brown + Home Rule
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; New Ed edition (1 Jun 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349112630
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349112633
  • Product Dimensions: 30.2 x 19.2 x 7.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 780,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


An unusual and original story, beautifully told. (DAILY TELEGRAPH)

Terse and truthful...Boylan chips away with forensic delicacy at the accretions of old age to find the quick characters within. (INDEPENDENT)

Boylan poignantly captures the weary sense of responsibility of an only daughter and, in Dick and Lily, she brilliantly conveys the messy progress of married life. (SUNDAY TIMES)

Few novels had looked into the heart of long-term marriage with such clear-eyed compassion as BELOVED STRANGER. (IRISH TIMES)

Book Description

* A black but funny examination of marriage

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and moving 2 Aug 2000
By A Customer
A beautifully constructed tale of marriage and manic depression, in which all the characters are portrayed with warmth and sensitivity. I read it almost at one sitting, so intense was the atmosphere and gripping the tale. A very sympathetic account of an initially somewhat distant daughter dealing with the changes manic depression creates in her parents' relationship. Wonderful description of her relationship with her elderly parents, particularly her accepting yet amazingly resilent mother. For anyone interested in issues of manic depression (bipolar disorder as it is also known) can I suggest Kay Redfield Jamison's book: An Unquiet Mind (Picador).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is the best novel I have read all year, and undoubtedly Boylan's best yet. She has managed to make a book charting manic depression, and a stifling marriage spanning half a century come to life magnificently. At first one feels little more than sympathy for Dick and Lily, but by the end of this deeply satisfying novel, I loved them all dearly. I cannot recommend this enough! Read it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written 20 May 2001
By A Customer
This is the first book I have read by Claire Boylan. She writes so descriptively. In the American edition, Dick's wife is Lily, not Eunace. It is sad and funny at times with the horrors of a man's descent into insanity graphically portrayed. Each character in the book becomes alive with the clever writing of the author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beloved Stranger 11 July 2003
By A Customer
It's the first time I have read a book by this author.It was brilliant.very moving, but with humour.Taking you through the trauma of someone losing his mind.So well written,I couldn't put it down.Lovely book.
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