Ruined

( 3 )

Overview

Jo Mullen's novel about bipolar disease and its effects on a family reveals the devastation it can cause. The title—RUINED—couldn't say it better. Ben, the successful owner of a major construction business, begins to deteriorate after a series of very stressful events, starting with anonymous phone calls threatening to kill him, his wife and his children. One of his daughters practically dies after losing a baby she has carried for six months, his business is hit hard by recession, one of his employees takes ...

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Overview

Jo Mullen's novel about bipolar disease and its effects on a family reveals the devastation it can cause. The title—RUINED—couldn't say it better. Ben, the successful owner of a major construction business, begins to deteriorate after a series of very stressful events, starting with anonymous phone calls threatening to kill him, his wife and his children. One of his daughters practically dies after losing a baby she has carried for six months, his business is hit hard by recession, one of his employees takes millions of dollars from the company, and bodyguards are directing his life. This is just the start. As the story evolves, the family goes through the process of losing everything as an uncooperative Ben swings from manic to depressive over a six year period. This story is for anyone who is living with or caring for persons with bipolar disease.

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What People Are Saying


Ruined takes readers into a world where corporate greed and irresponsibility drag Ben Mallow, a powerful construction company CEO, from vague threats and lack of sleep to huge stress and less sleep, and finally to bi-polarism, the cause of the ruination of the title. Readers see the terror of Mallow's loss of self-control through the eyes of his wife, who sees but is unable to halt his descent into a delusional, borderline murderous mania where everyone is an enemy and no expense is too great. Readers also share with her Mallow's heart-breaking moments of clarity and deep, shattering remorse. There is much here that connects Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to bi-polarism, as well as a view into a medical world which, due to ignorance and red tape, is often unable to deal with patients in a timely and effective way, when doing so is crucial to the well-being of the patient and his circle of loved ones. At the same time, it's a page-turning thriller and tragedy that will grip readers, whether they are similarly afflicted, want to learn more about this widely misunderstood disease, or simply enjoy a good, fast-paced story. --Neal Johnston
Charles T. Rubey
Suicide can divide a family when survivors look for someone to blame. Blame serves no purpose except to inflict more pain on already hurting survivors. RUINED makes this point very clearly. Loving Outreach for Survivors of Suicide (LOSS) helps survivors incorporate this painful experience into their psychic makeup. (Rev. Charles T. Rubey, Founder and Director, LOSS)
Evelyn B. Echols
In no-holds-barred detail, Jo Mullen conveys the horror and heartbreak of living with a bipolar spouse whose mind unravels before her eyes. Her story is illuminating and essential reading for anyone who is dealing with a victim of this debilitating disease. (Evelyn B. Echols, Past Vice President, Mental Health Association of Greater Chicago)
Fred Miller
With bipolar disorder, family and close friends are on the same roller coaster ride that, at times, seems as if it will never end. Early identification and treatment for patient and family is essential not only for symptom control, but to minimuze the chaos of the 'ride' and its aftermath. (Fred Miller, M.D., Ph.D., Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780976123583
  • Publisher: Ampersand, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/18/2008
  • Edition description: AMPERSAND, INC.
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2009

    taken from BookReview.com

    BOOK REVIEW RUINED By Jo Mullen. REVIEWER: Rod Clark. In her book, Ruined, Jo Mullen has drawn a powerful portrait of a bipolar man whose personality and sanity are rapidly disintegrating. It is a depiction that is both terrifying and instructive. The troubled individual is a man named Ben, who is the major stockholder of a construction company. . . The drama that unfolds is told from the perspective of his wife, Jessie. Although it is not specified, the book reads like nonfiction. Whether it is biography or not, the story itself is painfully real. Bipolar disorders affect significant numbers of our fellow citizens, and the consequences of this devastating disease impact spouses, families, friends, fellow workers and society at large. Perhaps the greatest strength of the book is the way in which, as Ben's volcanic angers become harder and harder to control, the author has the outside world display a craziness of it's own---producing stresses that even a strong, balanced personality would find difficult to cope with. As a contractor, Ben has received death threats, is surrounded by conniving business interests, and has large amounts of money stolen from his company. He has some people around him who are not trustworthy, including members of the security company that is supposedly protecting him from his enemies.

    Life isn't easy. We all live in a difficult world in which much of what confronts us is not of our own making and not under our control. All of us get stressed and angry sometimes, and it is not always easy to tell when the problem is internal and when it is external. Nevertheless, as Ben throws enraged tantrums again and again, totally out of proportion with circumstances, his wife begins to see that something is seriously wrong with him. Over a period of time, Ben's rages increase in number and severity, culminating in a number of violent incidents including one in which he threatens people with a gun. Finally Jessie has no choice but to have him committed, and put on medication to modify his behavior. The remainder of the story deals with Ben's release, rehabilitation, and the challenges Jessie faces as she struggles with Ben's illness and the economic and emotional carnage it ha left in its wake. The story ends with Ben's suicide and with Jessie coming to terms with his death, learning that blake serves no purpose except to inflict greater grief on the survivors.

    Jessie displays immense courage and character throughout, and provides a positive model for how to cope with and help a difficult bipolar personality. On the flyleaf of the book, Author Jo Mullen gives invaluable advice: "To those with a mental illness and to those close to them. Get the best help you can as soon as possible, and don't take insults and bad behavior personally. They are a result of the illness . .. God bless us all." Anyone who is trying to cope with someone close to them with a bipolar disorder is sure to find value and wisdom in the book. (As posted on Book Review.Com)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2008

    This is a great book

    This is a great book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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