"Deep in my heart, I know there’s no promise I’ll be free from trouble in this life. In fact, I’m usually either getting out of trouble, currently in trouble, or about to meet trouble around the next corner."...... I hope you'll stick around for my "Lucille Ball/Gracie Allen" adventures. It promises to be a wild ride.
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.
“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.
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.
us a little about yourself.
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.
you wanted to convince someone to read Against My Will, what would
you tell them about the book?
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
The character Cliff which
is my son’s name as he is so caring and kind
character is most like you?
I drew from
other persons in my life to develop the characters but none are based on me or
What or who was/is
your greatest encouragement as an author?
a publisher to publish my first self help book
Where did you get the inspiration to
write Against My Will?
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.
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.
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.
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
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