One summer evening, in 1918, Fiona Gilman is attacked near the Great Loch. My Courage Rises tells the story of Fiona’s struggle to cope with the on-going consequences of this attack.
Both the attacker and his wealthy, powerful father intervene in Fiona’s life, in ways that prevent her from putting the ordeal behind her. After being stalked and then humiliated in open court, she plunges into a doomed love affair. Disheartened, she leaves Scotland for Canada, where nobody knows about her past.
From her tiny, rented attic room in Victoria’s Chinatown, Fiona turns her talent for designing and sewing high-fashion clothing into a growing business. Her talent is recognized by a wealthy, American woman, who presents her with the opportunity of a lifetime, in fashionable New York City.
But one night at a dinner party, someone shows up who knows all of her secrets, someone who could ruin her new relationship with the love of her life. And, just as she is about to take up her new life in New York, circumstances force her back to Scotland, for a court battle with her powerful adversary.
My Courage Rises exposes cultural attitudes of the 1920s toward a young woman who is ripe for exploitation. It chronicles her struggles to untangle herself from her past. Her search for love is fraught with tragedy; her most humiliating secrets are exposed. Only someone like Fiona Gilman, who has faith in herself, who fortifies her courage with quotes from her favorite author, could rise above the challenges she faces.