Beloved Stranger Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Beloved Stranger

Lily has been married to Dick for 50 years. Dick is becoming increasingly suspicious. He gives away large sums of money to people he doesn't know well, then thinks he's being swindled. He believes there's an intruder in their Dublin home, and even suspects Lily of having an affair. He gets to the point of threatening her with a shotgun, actually putting it in her mouth.
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Lily finally, reluctantly admits to her daughter Ruth, a single professional woman in her 40's that there are problems. They get Dick to a doctor who refers them to a psychologist. Tim, the psychologist makes a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Most likely, Dick has had this for years, but it has become much worse with advancing age and retirement.

In spite of Dick's resistance, and Lily's reluctance, Ruth gets him admitted to a hospital first, where he is stabilized on medication. Lily signs him out for what's supposed to be a brief visit, but Dick and Lily agree that he won't go back. He stops taking his meds resulting in the return of the paranoid behavior. Ruth gets him admitted to a retirement home, where he is obstreperous, sexually inappropriate with the staff and Lily when she visits, and eventually violent.

Lily is left questioning the way she has lived her life as a full time homemaker, and whether her life has meaning. She feels so alienated, she moves out of her home into a rundown boarding house.

Ruth who has avoided long term relationships based on her experience with her parents, has to sort out what her family means to her, and whether she will ever want a family of her own.

Tim the psychologist maintains an ongoing relationship with the family, and in the end helps the two women sort out their issues.
The review of this Book prepared by Susan Coffey

Chapter Analysis of Beloved Stranger

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Family, struggle with    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   Husband Family, caring for ill    -   Yes Who is sick?    -   husband because he/she is    -   mentally ill Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Brain/Body disability?    -   mental illness

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   homemaker Age:    -   60's-90's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Irish Unusual characteristics:    -   Super sensitive soggy jelly muffin


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   5 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Ireland City?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Beloved Stranger

Clare Boylan Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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