A Secret Madness: The Story of a Marriage

A Secret Madness: The Story of a Marriage

by ElaineBass (Author)

Synopsis

In post-war London, two girls are relieved to find husbands. One lands the 1950s dream of wealth and security. The other, Elaine, endures fourteen years married to a man with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. At first, Elaine finds Gerald's activities curious but manageable. But he grows increasingly withdrawn, sometimes violent. The birth of their daughter heralds a complete breakdown and five years of silence, fear and despair. With startling honesty and great eloquence, Bass describes their poverty, her loneliness, her fears for her child, finding comfort in an affair with the village doctor and how the relationship finally ends. "A Secret Madness" is a remarkable personal evocation of an era.

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More Information

Format: Paperback
Pages: 266
Edition: New Ed
Publisher: Profile Books
Published: 11 Jan 2007

ISBN 10: 1861979649
ISBN 13: 9781861979643
Prizes: Shortlisted for BT Mind Awards Book of the Year 2007.

Media Reviews
The writing is brilliantly evocative of an era when the effects of rationing were commonplace, when there was still National Service and BBC radio plays were an evening's entertainment. -- Angela Cooke * Daily Express *
What's she's achieved is quite remarkable... no ordinary book. -- Sue Cooke * Woman's Weekly *
This is a study in saintly forbearance, but also in the innocence of a time that knew little of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, was shocked by sexual deviance, and when the Freudian precepts we take for granted were not yet in place. -- Lesley White * Sunday Times Culture *
A Secret Madness is a poignant and brave account of a marriage struggling to survive against the dark shadows of an illness for which there is still no cure. Essential reading for anyone attempting to understand and cope with OCD. -- Shereen Low * Birmingham Post *
A superb, tragic period piece. -- Ian Samson * The Guardian *
There are valuable lessons for many of us in her book. -- Dr Thomas Stuttaford * The Times (T2) *
Drawing on her vivid recollections, Bass has written a powerfully compelling book that captures the searing loneliness of a marriage to a man trapped within his illness. -- Julie Wheelwright * Independent *
This gripping, moving and obsessively readable book will ring bells with anyone who's ever had a 'difficult marriage'. * Fay Weldon *
It's a harrowing and thought-provoking book, and should cure any nostalgia for the way we lived in the fifties. The reader feels the author's lonely plight acutely. And one must admire a woman, isolated and unsupported, who uses her own intelligence to construct sense in the strange and frightening world into which her marriage took her. And one who has such emotional stamina. * Hilary Mantel *
Author Bio
Elaine Bass is 84 years old. She has two children and lives with her second husband in Norfolk. This is her first book.