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Against My Will

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  43 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Rose is a young girl and has just been liberated from a Nazi death camp. As she is convalescing in the hospital, a nurse hands her a journal and suggests that she records her experience before she forgets. Rose says that she will "never forget." 70 years later, her grand -daughter Danielle discovers the journal entries. Danielle is struggling in an abusive relationship. An ...more
Paperback, 247 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Frederick Fell
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3.65  · 
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 ·  43 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Ruth Hill
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
So how do you rate a book that almost mirrors your life? Okay, not really, but trust me, there are similarities--I will get to that. Let's get the "negatives" out of the way. There is some profanity in the book, and the sex scenes are rather descriptive. The profanity wasn't too prevalent, and the sex scenes were necessary--due to the entire message of the book. But do approach this book with the knowledge that this is an adult book.

The cover alone is hauntingly beautiful. Even my students today
Tia Bach
Oct 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Rating: 3.5 stars

On the surface, Danielle Landau has it together: she just recently passed the New York bar exam and is about to marry a guy her family likes. The problem, she's not in love. She looks past all the warning signs about Jacob, her new husband, in the hopes that things will get better. They don't. One evening, Jacob's controlling behavior escalates and pushes past what Danielle can overlook.

Thanks to the support of her Nana, who has been through a life most of us can't fathom, Dani
Sep 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
My thoughts on this book can be best summed like this: I thought this was a good rough draft of a novel. While I enjoyed the plot, I really felt that this book needed more work. Danielle’s experiences and the holocaust storylines were every fully or effectively intertwined. There are a number of diary entries from the holocaust at the beginning of the book, and then they just disappeared.

I also felt that the character developments could have been improved. Danielle is the most developed charact
Teena in Toronto
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
There are two stories in this book. Rose is a Jew and her family had been taken to a concentration camp during World War II. She is eventually saved but never sees her family again. To help her heal, a nurse suggest she record her experiences, which includes being raped, in a journal.

The second story happens almost than seventy years later with her granddaughter, Danielle. Danielle is hitting thirty, still living home with her father and has just passed the bar exam. Her father arranges for a m
Cynthia Mcarthur
Jul 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
I was conned into reading this book by being told that it was historical fiction. It is not. It is self-help fiction. *shudder*
In a 270-something page book, there are 21 pages of historical flashback.
I am all for women's rights, blah blah blah...but I just wanted to kick the "heroine" of this story in her pudgy butt for her lack of will. You can't go AGAINST something a person doesn't have.
She jumped from daddy, to abusive husband to second husband who made everything all better. *eye roll*
Up All Night Book Addict
I didn't dislike or necessarily like this book. Mr. Berkley could have done so much more with this story. He drug out unimportant parts of the story, and did not go deeper into the parts that could have made the book so much more interesting. The story-line was good, but the delivery was not as good as it could have been. There are many typos, incomplete sentences and poor formatting that I hope are fixed before another round of books are printed.
Lynelle Clark
The book begins and ends with a wedding. But in between the two ceremonies lives were lived filled with trails, growth and maturity.

I truly enjoyed this book as it captivated you and held your attention through out the struggles of two women as well as several others. Mixed together to give you a broad perspective of the issue at hand. So sincere and heart warming as you get to know them in their daily lives. Filled with love and loving care for every one around them.

Rose and Danielle, grandmoth
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Danielle and Jacob's marriage wasn't exactly a match made in heaven, but Danielle's beloved father thought the world of Jacob, and she wasn't getting any younger, so marrying seemed like the thing to do. In her worst nightmares, however, Danielle never dreamed that things could go bad so quickly. Jacob was an arrogant control freak who treated her as chattel property. Danielle's initial disillusionment with Jacob turned into despair, then a kind of gloomy acceptance until one brutal act forces h ...more
Kelly (Belle of the Literati)
"Save one life,
seed a generation."
-Benjamin Berkley, Against My Will

Ok, so after reading the description of this novel I was immediately intrigued. Not only am I trying to read more adult fiction but this book also has a historical fiction element to it. Really excited! The story mainly focuses on Danielle and the relationship she has with her husband Jacob. She is in a bad spot. She enters into this marriage mostly by obligation (never a good start), she doesn't love him, and to top it off he
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Against My Will by Benjamin Berkley is a novel with a message. Danielle Landau, a well educated but somewhat naive 29 year-old Jewish woman, is set up by her father and a matchmaker to meet and date Jacob Liebowitz. While she is more concerned with getting the results from taking the bar exam and starting her law career, Jacob is trying to push her into taking their relationship more seriously than she originally thought it should be taken. After they marry, Danielle quickly realizes what a horr ...more
Aug 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Description of Against 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.

At 29, Danielle Landau has a bright future ahead. She has finished law school and is looking forward to her career. But
Oct 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Talk about a dramatic read. I wasn't expecting Benjamin Berkley's fictional debut to be such a raw, dramatic emotionally intense read but it was and it was a pleasant surprise. The book is told through the eyes two women from the same family told decades apart but their stories intersect when Danielle receives her grandmother's journal and it becomes the driving force behind Danielle's decisions throughout the book.

The book, like I said before is very dramatic. It is emotionally charged and the
Feb 22, 2013 rated it liked it
My thoughts:
I wasn't sure what to expect from this story; a story written by a man about control, love, self-discovery and survival. I was pleased by the story that unfolded on the pages as I turned them. I was impressed with the author's desire to write a story about a topic that is somewhat taboo and his ability to write such a story with such a profound understanding.

I understand the desire to do what you feel your parent(s) want and what "seems" like the right thing for your life. So I was n
Rebecca Graf
Oct 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
A story of strength, courage, determination, and will is what you will find in Benjamin Berkley's Against My Will. In this story a young Jewish woman is guilted by her father to be respectful and traditional as he pushes a nice man toward her. Despite the lack of attraction and the hints she gets that something is not quite right, she gives into the pressure around her and marries the man. From the day of her wedding, she discovers she has married a cold monster who will do anything include rapi ...more
Sep 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
Within the pages of this book we meet Danielle, a woman who naively walks into a marriage that very quickly becomes abusive (although it didn't seem that amazing before marriage either). We're also introduced to Danielle's grandmother Rose, and hear her story of how she survived the Holocaust as a young girl in Austria.

I really enjoyed getting to see Danielle grow as a character. In the first few chapters she comes off as so naive (in some ways unrealistically so), but by the end she isn't just
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Daniella Landau was a lovely Jewish girl in New York who is adored by her father and Nana, loved by her sister and friends but clueless when it comes to romance. Family keeps bringing over “such a nice boy” for her to meet but she was far more into passing the Bar than dating. Then her father met a “matchmaker”. In walks Jacob Liebowitz whom her father insists is “the perfect man. He has a good job, a new loft apartment and prospects.
Marriage follows and Danielle quickly realizes the mistake she
Jan 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2013, for-review
I hada bit of a funny relationship with this book. A lot happened, and I was interested in the things that were happening but everything seemed a bit brief. I think with all the topics there could have quite possibly have been three, or maybe even four different novels written, and I think that would have been better because it would have meant the stories would have to be told in more detail.
I did feel that I got to know Danielle quite well, but it was more from knowing her that I could tell ho
Oct 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Danielle Landau is twenty-nine, and just reached her goal of passing the New York Bar Exam. Thing is her father thinks as a twenty-nine year old Jewish girl she should be married, but really that's the last thing she really wants to do. When her father introduces her to Jacob Liebowitz she really isn't interested in him, but her father thinks he would be the perfect catch for her, so after dating a while she agrees to marry him, but Jacob becomes a controlling, vile person and the only solace Da ...more
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 b
Kathleen Kelly
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Against My Will is a story about a young Jewish woman, Danielle, who lives with her father, just passed the bar exam and comes home one day to have the local matchmaker in her living room with her father. With them is a young man, Jacob, whom her father thinks would be a perfect husband. Against her better judgement she agrees to date him. Then she agrees to marry him and then it all goes downhill from there. She finally finds the courage to leave Jacob when he rapes her. A tough subject matter ...more
Dec 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book hits close to home for me however I didn't marry the man who abused me growing up how often we fall for someone then they turn out to be someone else I really liked this book it shows how some us no matter how independent or strong can not only take our parents thoughts about us, if they are bad try to please them but in pleasing others hurt ourselves in that process.

Danielle is a woman who is going after what she wants but pleases her father because at her age women should be married,
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In the words of the main character..."WOW"! I received this book through Goodreads First Reads (so huge thanks to Goodreads, Frederick Fells Publishers, Inc., and, of course, the talented author, Benjamin Berkley).

Honestly, I was a little worried when I first sat down to read the book, because anything dealing with abuse towards women makes me seriously cringe. Within the first few chapters, I was silently begging the main character, Danielle, to go with her gut and RUN far, far away from the di
Oct 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
I won this book off of goodreads and was shocked at how much I ended up liking how the book turned out. Without giving any spoilers, Danielle goes from being a character who just wants to please her father to someone who happy and content with where her life has led despite the trials that it took to get there. What I also liked about this story was how much we learn of the Jewish culture and history. I knew some of the traditions, but with not being Jewish and not knowing a whole lot of practic ...more
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Against My Will, was such a good story. There were a lot of interesting and hard real life situations that were issued here, including being in an abusive relationship. The story mainly revolves around Danielle, and she is the one that is in a horrible marriage, but she shows strength, by getting away, and how she does that, was great. She's one that was obedient, doing what she was told, but finally she stands up for herself, and moves away from her husband, her family, to the West Coast, and b ...more
Oct 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This story starts out with one chapter in the present with Danielle and the next chapter in the past with Rose (Nana).
This was a really great book with a lot of detail that sucks you in. I do think the ending felt rushed but that’s because I was so into the story and characters that I didn’t want it to end. When I was in university I studied the Holocaust and the tragedy that happened during that time. I also visited a concentration camp in Germany and the Holocaust museum in D.C. SO reading th
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
I received this book in a goodreads giveaway. Danielle is a young jewish lawyer who just passed the bar exam. Her father sets her up with a young jewish man who she ends up marrying. Not long after marriage she finds that he's abusive. She finds the strength to leave with the help of her grandmother a concentration camp survivor. I really wanted to read more about the grandmother and what she went through or even just linking the two characters together more. It just felt like something was lack ...more
Freda Mans-Labianca
Sep 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Without rehashing my own past nightmares, I will tell you a couple times this book hit home for me. I actually had to put it down, walk away and come back to it after I calmed. It's such a dreadful life to have to live, and I'll be honest, I'm surprised a male author was able to evoke the right emotions in me when the story is told from a female perspective. But he did, and very well at that.
Not everyone will love this story, it has some flaws, but the women who have lived it won't be able to lo
Nov 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
When I first read the back of this book I wasn't sure if I'd like it, but when I read it I was surprised how fast I did.

Benjamin Berkley did an amazing job in displaying the strengths of the character's and their personalities to a tee.

And he hit the HIGH note on such an important topic: Domestic Abuse. In a marriage you think everything's all right and dandy, but that's not always the case.

But this is a story of Triumph too as we watch Danielle get into a rocky marriage and get out of one, but
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This if a fictional book, that will hit home with a lot of people. Most people are going to see parts of this story and think: that's something similar to what I'm going through or someone close to you is going through.
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Brutal yet enticing and hopeful despite the hardships
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From as far back as he can remember, Benjamin Berkley was fascinated by the law. Growing up in Long Beach, New York his daily schedule revolved around grainy black-and-white reruns of Perry Mason who, with the help of Della Street, solved the most complicated of crimes imaginable. It was therefore no surprise to his family and friends that Berkley chose law as his career path, now practicing for o ...more
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