Friday, October 5, 2012

Against My Will: Interview with Benjamin Berkley

Against My Will by Benjamin BerkleyAgainst My Will
Publisher: Frederick Fell Publishers, Inc., September 1, 2012
Category: Fiction- Relationships, Abuse, Romance, Holocaust, Suspense
Tour Dates: October, 2012
Available in: Print and PDF, 247 pages
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.
Benjamin Berkley
Benjamin Berkley, 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.


What seven words best describe you? 
Witty, Sincere, Caring, Organized, Adventurous, Prankster, Confident

If you could have 3 book characters over to dinner who would you pick, and what might you serve? 

I love anything to do with politics and one of my favorite books is All The President’s Men.  And if I could have Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward and Ben Bradlee over for dinner, that would be amazing.  As to what I would serve, I don’t cook so it would be take out.

Tell us a little about yourself. 
Writing has always interested me but I never had the time having with balancing a law practice and a growing family.  But then one day, I put my pen to paper and started writing.  And I have not put the pen down since.

 If you wanted to convince someone to read Against My Will, what would you tell them about the book? 
It is bold, sad, and parts are shocking.  But it tells a story that needs to be told.  Therefore do not make any prejudgments.

What character was easiest for you to write about? 
The character Cliff which is my son’s name as he is so caring and kind

 What character is most like you? 
I drew from other persons in my life to develop the characters but none are based on me or like me

What or who was/is your greatest encouragement as an author? 
Convincing a publisher to publish my first self help book

Where did you get the inspiration to write Against My Will
I represented a client who was recognized by Yad VAshem as a Righteous Gentile.  And her story of how she saved Jews during the war inspired me.

What sets Against My Will apart from other books in the same genre?  
My publisher asked the same question.  And throughout my research, I could not find any book similar to mine.

What is next? 
I have started writing my second novel, tentatively titled 613 based on the 613 commandments.  It follows a selfish man who is given a second chance at life.

My Review.

          Against My Will is attention grabbing in that the author chose to parallel Danielle’s journey through life with her grandmother Rose’s journey; and the similarities between the two women, so many years apart.

          The book touched on marital abuse (rape) and rape. The story line allowed the reader to see how a confident young woman, who out of love for her father, is drawn into an arranged marriage, and because of her traditionalism, stays in the marriage and consequently becomes submissive to an abusive husband, before gathering the courage to leave and divorce him. Her healing comes in an unlikely form, while defending another abused wife in a court case.

          The writer takes the reader through the emotional trauma of being raped, but does not allow the characters to fully comprehend and deal with the ordeal they have been through. This topic could have been a little more fully explored.

          I did find the occasional grammar error, and although the plot was not a particularly deep plot, it was interesting. I enjoyed the love story, and felt the book came to a satisfactory conclusion.

If you found my review helpful, please consider voting "yes" for my review on Amazon by clicking on this link. Thanks!!

Tour Dates:
Rainy Days & Mondays  Oct 1 Review
Rainy Days & Mondays  Oct 2 Guest Post
Two Children & a Migraine Oct 2 Review
Freda’s Voice Oct 3 Review & Giveaway
My Life Oct 4 Review
My Life Oct 5 Interview & Giveaway
VW Stitcher Oct 8 Review
Books & More Books Oct 9 Review & Giveaway
Sia Mckye Over Coffee  Oct 10 Review On Amazon .com
Sia Mckye Over Coffee  Oct 10 Guest Post
Mom in Love With Fiction Oct  11 Review
Mom in Love With Fiction Oct 11 Guest Post
BassGiraffe’s Thoughts  Oct 12 Review & Giveaway
From L.A. to LA Oct 15 Review
My Devotional Thoughts Oct 15 Guest Post & Giveaway
My Devotional Thoughts Oct 16 Review
Butterfly-o-Meter Books Oct 18 Review
MDeniseC Oct 18 Review
Butterfly-o-Meter Books  Oct 19 Guest Post & Giveaway
West Metro Mommy Oct 22 Review
West Metro Mommy Oct 23 Interview
My Little Pocketbooks   Oct. 24 Spotlight & Giveaway
Broken Teepee  Oct 25 Review & Giveaway
Peeking Between the Pages Oct 26 Review
Turning the Pages  Oct 29 Guest Post
A Book Lover’s Library Oct 29 Review
Turning the Pages Oct 30 Review
Peeking Between the Pages Oct 31 Guest post & Giveaway
MN Girl in LA Oct 31 Review

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  1. Thanks again for taking part in the tour. Good luck to everyone who enters the giveaway!

  2. This sounds like a very emotionally intense story. It is so sad that so many people have to go through things such as this. Thank you so much for the post and for the giveaway.
    manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com


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