This extraordinary love story, based on historical characters and written with Boyle's customary brilliance and wit, follows the lives of two scarred creatures living in a magical age. It is the turn of the century. Stanley McCormick, the twenty-nine-year-old heir to the great Reaper fortune, meets and marries Katherine Dexter, a woman of 'power, beauty, wealth and prestige'. Two years later, Stanley falls victim to a tormenting sexual mania and schizophrenia, and is imprisoned in the massive forbidding mansion known as Riven Rock. He spends the next two decades under the control of a succession of psychiatrists, all of whom forbid any contact with women. Yet Katherine Dexter, now famous as a champion for women's suffrage and Planned Parenthood, remains strong in her belief that someday her husband will return to her whole.
This fine novel from a brilliant writer is an unforgettable account of madness and love. At the turn of the century, Stanley McCormick, heir to a great fortune, marries an intelligent and independent beauty. He is afflicted with sexual mania and locked away in the all-male world of Riven Rock, a terrifying Californian fortress, where he is controlled by psychiatrists who forbid him any contact with women. McCormick's wife, however, is implacable in her will to see her husband restored to health and returned to her care. Not comfortable reading, but compulsive. (Kirkus UK)