"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.
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.
Advance Praise for Against My Will:
“Benjamin Berkley masterfully confronts the unimaginable bringing awareness to a subject that is too often unreported.”- Denise Brown, Co-Founder and president, Nicole Brown Foundation
“Benjamin Berkley is a confident author who shows a profound dedication for his work. In “Against My Will,” from the concentration camp of Mauthausen in the 40’s to a modern day courtroom trial today, Berkley skillfully and compassionately explores the human emotion to survive. “- Edward McGlynn Gaffney, Professor of Law, Valparaiso School of Law, Valparaiso, Indiana
“Benjamin Berkley has broken new ground in his intricate novel about an abusive victim’s journey. Key character’s lives become intertwined in unexpected ways in this poignant and satisfying novel.”-Jill H. Rathus, PhD. Professor of Psychology, Long Island University
About Benjamin Berkley:
“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.
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.
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