Insightful read. The first half of the book could have been titled, "I grew up in a strict (Christian, Jewish, pick one) house. Not so insightful. The last part of the book finally got into the Hasidic culture.
Overall, pretty good.
Hearing the courage and bravery it took for Deborah to redirect her life.
The car accident
Meeting her betrothed
I could have
I would have liked to know more abut her mother... Book 2?
Great personal story about growing up in a isolated religious community that values traditions over reason, facts, and experience. While the story is about a sect of the Jewish Faith the same I am sure can be said of similar communties such as the Amish and many cults. The author was brave and lucky to free herself from her "bonds" yet how many others that don't have her intellegence, her skills, and a husband that was somewhat tolerant are trapped.
I gave the story only 4 stars because I would have like more details on the Hasidic Jews and thier various factions. Also her finally breaking away is told in a rapid manner at the end of the story. Would have also liked to know how she was able to keep her child, what became of her husband, and if she ever tried to develop a relationship with her mother that she had been kept away from her whole life.
As a whole it is a brave story and well told.
Initially I thought this would be the story of an excessively entitled person. But the orthodox life required that the author face humiliation and hardship, which in her case, rounded the edges of her character.
I enjoyed the details of the hasidic beliefs and practices, much like those of my Catholic ghetto upbringing. A narrow set of beliefs, but profound in the conception of the divine. Deep respect and awe of the divine is hard to come by in today's world.
The female voice is essential.
I wish there were more. What happended next? How did she do when she faced the tasks of motherhood by herself? There's another book there.
Deborah's childhood and marriage were presented in great detail, but her escape (for lack of a better term) was vague. I would have liked to hear more specifics about that.
No. The book left me unsatisfied.
She was very convincing as Deborah. The pronunciation, accent and tone was entirely believable.
How was Deborah able, despite rabbinical law as referenced in the book, to keep her son? The story went from packing him up in a rental car, to visiting New Orleans alone. Did she retain custody? If so, how?
Learning about the Hasidic lifestyle was very interesting. I grew up in Brooklyn, not far from Park Slope, and the Hasidim were always a mystery to me.
I read this book to learn about the Hasidic community, but it seemed to be very shallow. I didn't finish it.
I enjoyed learning about the Hasidic people and their ways. The book left many things unanswered. I wanted to know more about how she got away. Did she have custody of her son? How did she settle with Eli? I cared less about her "feelings" than about the reality of her situation after she left. How did her grandparents take it? Is her son growing up in two cultures?
To me the reader had a nasal quality in her voice.
Yes, obviously, if she wants her story out there.
yes! She is a great storyteller and very brave and honest. I couldn't stop listening.
author's honesty and compelling story.
when she left her old life behind.
I listen to audiobooks as I have a brain injury which makes it hard for me to read for more than 10--15 minutes. Jewish grandmother to twins
I enjoyed learning more about this particular sect of the Orthodox culture, but the author does misrepresent some aspects of it in her bias against it.
No. I do not think she has anything rational to say in terms of Orthodox writing, and her writing is not sophisticatied enough enough to warrant another listen.
No -- I had to put it away and come back to it, as the book made me angry at times, with the selfishness and complete disregard for anyone else's feelings and perspective.
To anyone who reads this book: please do not think this is what the Orthodox culture is like. Not by a long shot. She paints a horrible picture of what is in tuth a very loving culture that focuses on learning, family and yes, religious life. This is a book that seems to be written out of revenge against the people she grew up with. It is written in such a way that it can only be an exaggeration at points, so cannot really be honest autobiography.
This is a chronicle of the coming of age of a young girl growing up in the world of her Hasidic grandparents and extended family, her struggles to fit in and then finally to escape that world. Feldman does a good job of explaining the beliefs and customs of her restrictive Hasidic family and community - this was very interesting. She had a lot to overcome with her mentally retarded and alcoholic father and her absent mother, but her grandparents did love her and tried their best to give her a good life. She had some difficult times, early marriage, baby, divorce, etc... but then so do many of us. She ultimately comes off as a spoiled, whiny little brat who felt that she was owed a lot more in life than she got. She was only 24yrs old, after all. In the end, she finally comes to terms with herself and her Jewish faith, but we're left hanging: Did she maintain custody of her son? Did she finish school? Did she get a job? Did she ever get together with her mother again? Too much rhetoric on how good she looked, how strong she had to be to get what she felt she deserved. Too many unanswered questions.