About the Book:
AGAINST MY WILL is the life changing novel about Danielle, a victim of marital abuse, who finds the strength to leave her husband and pursue a career in law.
Danielle Landau knows she should feel lucky, but she can't feel anything but dread. Not only did she pass the New York Bar, but she married the man her father says is just right for her and lives in a fashionable new loft in Queens. But the man who seems like the perfect catch is a perfect nightmare at home. Jacob tries to control her career, her daily routine, and even what she eats. He ignores her desires and belittles her every chance he gets. Soon, Danielle doesn't recognize her husband or herself, and she struggles to find a way out.
Danielle tries to talk to her father but he dismisses her marital problems. But she can confide in her Nana Rose, a Holocaust survivor who lost her entire family at the hands of the Nazis. Rose helped raise Danielle and her brother when their mother died when Danielle was only three. Having faced death, Rose is Danielle's source of security. But while Danielle holds on to the fragile belief that her father's prince charming will change, she is raped by her husband on the night of their one year wedding anniversary.
Now, Danielle has to escape. And with the help of her beloved Nana, Danielle moves across the country and starts to rebuild her life. But will she be able to escape her past? And when one of her clients finds herself in the same terrible situation, will Danielle have the strength to help her?
As we follow Danielle on her journey of terror and recovery, we see her story intersect with the diary entries of her Nana as a young girl held captive in a concentration camp. The entries begin with Rose waking up in a hospital after the liberation of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp. Graphically she recounts the train ride to the camp and the emotional separation of her from her family upon arrival. And the full weight of the family's secrets becomes clear. This is a story of survival, self-discovery, justice, and ultimately, it's about love.
About the Author:
"Against My Will" is Benjamin Berkley's fifth book and debut novel. He is also the author of four self-help books: "My Wishes, Your Plan for Organizing Your Family's Needs" (Sourcebooks, June, 2006) "The Complete Executor's Guide" (Sourcebooks, June 2007) "Winning Your Social Security Disability Case" (Sourcebooks, February, 2008) and "Before You Say I Do Again, A Buyer's Beware Guide to Remarriage." (Frederick Fell Publishers, September, 2009).
And though writing is his passion, for over 34 years he has conducted a busy law practice in which he has seen many interesting clients come through his door. One in particular, an older woman with white hair, the kindest smile, and an amazing story became the inspiration for one of his characters for "Against My Will." Berkley lives in southern California with his wife Phyllis and their cat Riley. He has two grown children and is always bragging about his most beautiful grandson and granddaughter.
This book juxtaposes the stories of two women who have been abused by men; Danielle who enters into her marriage for all the wrong reasons and her grandmother, a Holocaust survivor.
Danielle is a 29 year old woman living with her father who has just finished law school. Her father feels she should be married so he calls in a matchmaker who introduces her to Jacob - a man her father thinks is perfect. Danielle has her reservations but she doesn't want to disappoint her father. She marries Jacob but soon comes to regret it - and when he crosses a line she leaves. She moves to California where she confronts her past as a prosecutor with a client who is accusing her husband of rape.
The book covers a very important topic and for the most part it is written well but it did start off somewhat weakly. The dialog between the characters was particularly poor but it got better as the book went on. The characters themselves are, with a few exceptions somewhat one dimensional. Danielle is far more well rounded but Jacob and her father are not. Her grandmother weaves in and out of the story to help her along but I think more could have been made of their similar experiences. There is, certainly some powerful story telling going on about a subject that needs attention but I think the book needs further attention to achieve its full strength.
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Disclosure: I was sent a copy of Against My Will gratis. Any opinions expressed are my honest opinions and were not impacted by my receipt of the free book. I received no monetary compensation for this post.