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Book details
  • Genre:DRAMA
  • SubGenre:American / General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:492
  • eBook ISBN:9781543924916
  • Paperback ISBN:9781543924909

Force of Will

by Tan Swiftwater

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It all started just before midnight in July, Gil Oldfield gets a call from his son that shocks him, but leaves him unprepared for his later arrest and the downward spiral that would follow. In rapid succession, he loses his wife, his children, his livelihood, all his assets, his reputation - in essence everything that is important to a man. Determined to live with whatever means he can, Gil embarks on a healing process that leads to discovery - discovery of who shared in the immense web of lies that started well before that fateful Independence Day in 2012, and the value of trust, real love, and authentic truth.

Gil Oldfield is a Financial Advisor by day, FM radio DJ by night, who lives in New Jersey. One night at the radio station, he gets a call from his son, who is concerned about a serious injury Gil's wife Marta has sustained, allegedly at the hands of Gil. Unable to make sense of the jumbled data provided in that conversation, Gil eventually heads home well after midnight to an empty house and gets a phone call from the local police. He dutifully obeys their request for him to come down to the police station, thinking he would be able to take Marta home. However, to his surprise, he is arrested in connection with Marta'a injury. After being released he begins spending all his waking hours finding a place to sleep at night and contacting members of his birth family. Upon arrival at his parents' home near Philadelphia two days later, he begins to discover that Marta has launched a widespread and complex campaign of slander designed to cripple him in every way - socially, financially, and even in all his family relationships, including that of his own four grown children. Upon returning to New Jersey he begins collecting evidence of his whereabouts during the time of Marta's alleged injury, and retains legal counsel. Over the next several years, seemingly at every turn a snag or pitfall awaits, so that for every step forward, he falls back three steps. Over the course of time, during his efforts to collect evidence, repair all his relationships, and obtain gainful employment, he begins to understand that Marta had planned his downfall for quite some time, colluding with friends and church officials in their religious community. For years she has wanted a divorce, but only on the grounds of adultery, so that she can be free to remarry and/or carry on in good standing with the religious community. Since all her spying over many years produced no evidence of infidelity on Gil's part, she had created an environment wherein she felt Gil would collapse under the temptation to be unfaithful to her. When that didn't work, she had him arrested, forcing a divorce, but again with the circumstances wherein Gil would eventually seek a sexual relationship with someone else. Eventually the charges against Gil that are connected with Marta's injury are dropped, which is part of Marta's plan to be viewed as a forgiving Christian while maintaining the ability to play the innocent victim. Some time later, the arrest is expunged from the record, and Gil can now become employed in his chosen career again. A year later the divorce is finalized. But it includes certain provisions in the associated Consent Order that are most unpalatable to Gil - he still cannot contact his grown children to discuss anything about the divorce or the criminal trial, which means that he cannot discuss his guilt or innocence regarding what they still believe to be fact: that he did injure Marta in a fit of anger, nearly fatally. Eventually Gil meets a beautiful woman named Julia. They fall in love and marry a year later. Just a few months after the wedding, Gil receives a registered letter from the officials in his old congregation. They have convoked a "judicial committee" to handle the matter of Gil's "adulterous marriage." The result of that trial is that Gil is declared unrepentantly guilty, and disfellowshipped from the congregation, the effect being that not even his own children will ever speak to him again. Gil returns home to Julia at once exhausted and relieved - life can now continue on free of religious shackles. Although he may never see his children again, he is content with his new family and small circle of friends, and happy to be alive. But will the truth of what happened the night he received that fateful call from his son ever been known?

About the author
Tan Swiftwater has published many works under different names and currently lives in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. "Force of Will" is his first "based on a true story" novel.