I've been emailing back and forth with an unofficial beta-reader. Unofficial, but she's willing to read and comment and for that, I'm deeply grateful. She's a reader, not a writer. Bonus!
She was sad to report that, at the end of part one, she did not like my female main character one bit.
I was glad to hear it because that was my intention. I starting thinking back over how hard it's been for me to make her as fully faceted a character as the male MC. Then something the beta wrote about when she stopped liking Anna made me realize that, because of a very violent experience, Anna is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder which was not recognized, particularly for crime vicitms, unitl the 80's, the decade after this story takes place.
I did a little quick google and she has many of the long list of criteria found in the DSM. Although she spent a short time in a mental facility, the stay was adjudicated and she resisted what little treatment there was.
Now I have to go back and do more to show how this incident affected her and the decisions she made about her life going forward. Write about a crippling psychological disorder without using the jargon and without any notion of treatment or recovery is going to be challenging.
Bless the Betas for they shall make us better writers. If anyone is interested, please email me!