Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots

Posted: Tuesday, August 7, 2012, 10:36 am

Reserve now!

Sarah C

Adults

Nonfiction

biography and memoir

In brief

4

After finishing this book, I could not stop thinking about it-- this memoir is both compelling and horrifying.

In this memoir, Feldman courageously reveals what her life was like growing up in a strict Satmar sect of Hasidic Jewish community in New York, and how she always felt like she wanted something more from life. She writes about loving to read, especially the gentile books forbidden to her, and starts each chapter with a quote from her favorite books.

I felt guilty about being horrified by this book because who am I to judge someone else's religion, but the situations she has to endure are degrading and painful to read. If she revealed any of the doubts or questions she had, her entire family and community would question her purity, her faith and possibly shun her.

As a librarian, I loved how much books helped her escape. I am so proud of her for having the strength and courage to leave and to start her life over from scratch. You learn so much about the Satmar Hasidic culture and customs that you understand why it is so hard for someone to walk away and never look back. Overall, this is an amazing memoir that I highly recommend.