Riding the Elephant: Survival and Love with a Bipolar Partner



Host of Montreal's top-rated English radio talk show, Neil McKenty appeared rational, balanced and a calming influence in any crisis. Would anyone have believed that this sparkling public figure was very different behind closed doors?

They met on the dance floor: he, a former Jesuit; she, grand-daughter of a two-time mayor of Toronto. Raised by her single mother, Catharine left the staid life of tea-parties for reconciliation work in post-war Europe. As a journalist for Pace, a magazine for adventurous youth of the 1960s, she conquered Los Angeles from the wheel of a pink Jaguar, unearthing a scoop that resulted in a best-selling book and Hollywood movie.

Friends applauded that Catharine had found her intellectual equal. When her new husband's outbursts began, she attributed it to the stresses of married life. People knew little about mental illness in those days. It was far too uncomfortable to talk about. The word bipolar was virtually unknown.

Together the McKentys wrote two best-selling books, rubbed shoulders with prime ministers, and worked closely with spiritual elites. Sandwiched between the couple's many accomplishments were Neil's suicidal depression and Catharine's desperate attempts to cope.

The author examines the influences that helped her to maintain her sanity and the sanctity of marriage with a talented and troubled husband. She aims to empower others who care deeply about someone affected with bipolar disorder.

Product Details

$16.99  $15.63
Torchflame Books
Publish Date
September 17, 2019
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.59 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author

Catharine McKenty grew up on her grandparents' farm, Donlands, then eight miles outside the Toronto city limits on Don Mills Road. She went in every day to Bishop Strachan School, where she won scholarships in French and German. After taking a degree in English at Victoria College, University of Toronto, she spent four winters as a volunteer in the mining area of post-war Germany with an international group of young people involved in reconstruction. Catharine served as Research Editor for Pace, a magazine for young people, based in Los Angeles and New York, and linked with the international musical group Up With People. Next came a stint as a speechwriter for the Ontario Minister of Education in Toronto. At that time she met her future husband, author-broadcaster Neil McKenty on the dance floor. Catharine worked at the Reader's Digest; she published Polly of Bridgewater Farm: An Unknown Irish Story; worked alongside Neil on the biography of John Main; and with Neil co-authored a best-seller on the early days of Laurentian skiing: Skiing Legends and the Laurentian Lodge Club.