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Disobedience: A Novel (2006)
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Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743291573, Paperback)Disobedience is Naomi Alderman's richly told, endearingly evocative tale of two women and the choices they make as they come to terms with their identities in a traditional Orthodox Jewish community. In this groundbreaking debut, Alderman puts her characters to work, forcing them to confront issues of rebellion, isolation, loneliness and self-acceptance in a place where deviating from the norm often results in cold stares and hushed whispers at the kosher butcher shop.
Ronit Krushka is a lapsed Orthodox Jew, who fled the confines of Hendon, England, and her traditional upbringing for a secular lifestyle on Manhattan's Upper West Side. When her father, the community's revered Rabbi passes away, Ronit returns home to retrieve her mother's precious Shabbat candlesticks, and to revisit her troubled past. She reconnects with Esti, a former lover, whose choices have left her unsure and unfulfilled. As Ronit and Esti navigate through the demons of their past, each woman is forced to decide what kind of life she wants to lead, and with whom she wants to share it.
Alderman alternates between a lyrical and familiar style, introducing each chapter with a page of religious commentary that relates directly to the novel. While the commentary is interesting, readers may find themselves skimming it as the plot thickens and these introductions become more like diversions from the story's main message. Still, interruptions aside, Disobedience marks an important debut, and one that extends outside the lives of these characters to personify the struggle between conformity and individualism for everyone who has felt like an outsider. --Gisele Toueg
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:52 -0400)
FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE POWER , ONE OF PRESIDENT OBAMA'S FAVORITE READS OF 2017 NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE, STARRING RACHEL WEISZ AND RACHEL MCADAMS When a young photographer living in New York learns that her estranged father, a well-respected rabbi, has died her first impulse is to anesthetize the pain with drink and casual sex. But Ronit can no longer run away from the truth, and soon sets out for the Orthodox Jewish community in London where she grew up. Back for the first time in years, Ronit can feel the disapproving eyes of the community. Especially those of her beloved cousin, Dovid, her father's favorite student and now an admired rabbi himself, and Esti, who was once her only ally in youthful rebelliousness. Now Esti is married to Dovid, and Ronit is shocked by how different they both seem, how much more conservative, and how much greater the gulf between them is. But when old flames reignite and the shocking truth about Ronit and Esti's relationship is revealed, the past and present converge in this award-winning and critically acclaimed novel about the universality of love and faith, and the strength and sacrifice it takes to fight for what you believe in-even when it means disobedience.
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