Katie Callahan has met the perfect man! Or so she thinks.
Claude Giraud is a brilliant French plastic surgeon who studied at the Sorbonne, and is now an associate at her father’s highly successful cosmetic surgery practice. Claude is handsome and charming, and is now a member of the Boston elite. He is enamored with Katie at their very first meeting. After a quick-as-lightening romance, she agrees to marry him, and begin her fairy-tale life.
Katie expects her marriage to be one of loving attention and respect. But she soon fears that something isn’t right. After spending the afternoon with her girlfriend, Gillian, who also happens to be her husband’s associate, Claude becomes enraged that Katie left the house without telling him. But the next morning, he is back to his charming self.
Is Katie being paranoid? Is her imagination in overdrive? She continuously questions herself and her loyalty.
[Claude] had no trace of uncertainty about himself or what he was doing. In the beginning of his career, he’d been ambitious, but now he was something else: sure. Sureness in anyone was unmistakable: in a man, it was sexy. He had it, and I had nothing resembling it.
As time goes on, Katie sees another side of her husband that scares her. Not only his treatment of her, but his moral values as well. She tries to discuss her situation with her mother, but is rebuffed by the advice that it is her responsibility to make the marriage work. Even if there is abuse involved. And her father would never believe his star associate could be anything but perfect. When she’d met Claude, her father had decreed:
[He] reminds me of myself and is just right for you.
With no moral support, Katie lives life from one day to the next, never knowing when her husband might snap. She has realized she is no longer Katie Callahan, the new enthusiastic college graduate who loves art, but Katie Giraud, the subservient wife of the famous plastic surgeon. She hopes that a baby will balance their marriage, but she couldn’t be further from the truth.
Finally, after three years of struggling to keep her family together, Katie is forced to play a hand that risks not only her marriage, but her life.
Even though the subject matter is disturbing, I enjoyed reading Something to Be Brave For. On the surface, it’s difficult to understand why a woman would stay in an abusive relationship. But this story helps us see that there are many factors that would cause a woman to keep trying, regardless of the danger. Priscilla Bennett has done a great job of taking us inside an abusive relationship, and showing us what goes on in the mind of a battered wife.
Thank you to Endeavour Press Ltd. for providing me with an Advance Reader’s Copy for review.