Against Her Will by Peter Martin is a novel that moves in straight line narration. Coaches and mentors encourage aspiring writers to show, not tell, their stories. This novel could be an illustration of what happens when an author tells. In the first chapter, a mysterious, near homeless man rapes Donna. She had left her office job to go to an engagement dinner with her fiancé, Blake. She then wakes up in a hospital where she sees Blake and her parents. From this point up to the 50% point of the novel, Donna does nothing but blame everyone else for their inability to appreciate her agony as she attempts to get her life back on track.
Of course, there will be no further intimacy with Blake, the fiancé she is living with. She despises and aggressively rejects all his efforts to try to help her get through the trauma. Donna blames her parents for having forced her into successful modelling work. She had been a child actor and a child model. Due to her looks, she and her parents had profited. Donna blamed them for valuing the beauty that caused her to be raped. This story plods along so slowly that I watched the “percentage read” figures in my Kindle. I wanted to find any conflict, any exciting incident, but there were none. At the 50% point we find Donna in a mental hospital. To get out, she must build trust with the staff. As with her parents and former fiancé, Donna fights the treatment and help. But there is one nurse, Evan, who pays a lot of attention to her. OK, now we have a romantic interest, but Donna is not interested in anything physical. This situation of “will she-won’t she” plods along until the 82% point. (The following is not a spoiler). Donna marries Evan but is warned by Evan’s brother of a dark secret.
I am happy. Only 18% more to go and I will figure out the non-surprise ending. It was telegraphed several pages previously. Although it is not a surprise, and I will not reveal it here, the situation in which the surprise is revealed is close to unbelievable in its presentation because of a reliance on absurd coincidences.
I forgot where I got this novel but I noticed it was not from Amazon. This novel was so bad I borrowed it from Kindle Unlimited just so I could leave a review that was a “verified purchase.” I gave it one Amazon star because I could not give less than one. Reading this was a waste of time.