Enduring Love (1997) is a novel by British writer Ian McEwan. The plot concerns two strangers who become perilously entangled after witnessing a deadly accident.
On a beautiful and cloudless day, a middle-aged couple celebrate their union with a picnic. Joe Rose, aged 47, and his long term partner Clarissa Mellon are about to open a bottle of wine when a cry interrupts them. A hot-air balloon, with a ten-year-old boy in the basket and his grandfather being dragged behind it, has been ripped from its moorings. Joe immediately joins several other men in an effort to bring the balloon to safety. In the rescue attempt one man, John Logan, a doctor, dies.
Another of the would-be rescuers is Jed Parry. Joe and Jed exchange a passing glance, a glance which indelibly burns an obsession into Jed's soul and has devastating consequences, for Jed suffers from de Clerambault's syndrome, a disorder that causes the sufferer to believe that someone is in love with him or her. Delusional and dangerous, Jed gradually wreaks havoc in Joe's life, testing the limits of his beloved rationalism, threatening Clarissa's love for him, and driving him to frustration.