Black And Blue – by Anna Quindlen (1998)

Black And Blue

You know what this book is about as soon as you read the opening sentence:
“The first time my husband hit me I was nineteen years old.” Domestic violence is nothing new. It’s been around throughout the history of the human race, and has been seen as just part of life by many people. Even in our enlightened age, women often have a terrible time letting someone know that they are being beaten, or leaving their abuser.

In this novel, Fran meets Bobby Benedetto, a New York City cop. Despite his possessive, controlling personality, she falls in love with him. He starts slapping her around even before they marry.  Over Bobby’s disapproval, Fran works in the emergency room of a local hospital. She often takes care of female patients who have been beaten or raped. Ironically, she does not seek help for herself,  and the physical abuse by Bobby continues to accelerate.

Ten years later she reaches the breaking point, calls a woman at a protection program, and flees to Florida with her son Robert. She is given a new identity as Beth Crenshaw. But living in hiding proves to be almost as miserable as living with Bobby, and Beth wonders if she has made a mistake.

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So Much To Tell You – by John Marsden (1987)

So Much To Tell You

When we think of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, we normally think of people who have survived war conditions. But as is illustrated in this novel by Australian author John Marsden, PTSD can happen to civilians as well.  

The idea for the story came from a famous case in Australia of a young woman, Kay Nesbit, being shot in the face by the irate ex-boyfriend of her roommate. She ended up having 57 surgeries to restore her face to a somewhat normal condition..

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