• Brazen

  • My Unorthodox Journey from Long Sleeves to Lingerie
  • By: Julia Haart
  • Narrated by: Julia Haart
  • Length: 19 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (472 ratings)

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Brazen  By  cover art

Brazen

By: Julia Haart
Narrated by: Julia Haart
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Publisher's Summary

A riveting, inspiring memoir of one woman’s escape from an extremist religious sect and an extraordinary rise from housewife to shoe designer, to CEO and co-owner of the modeling agency Elite World Group

“An irresistible read.... Written with great intensity and rare candor, Brazen is a story of longing for more and manifesting that vision.” (Tommy Hilfiger)

Ever since she was a child, every aspect of Julia Haart’s life—what she wore, what she ate, what she thought—was controlled by the dictates of ultra-Orthodox Judaism. At 19, after a lifetime spent caring for her seven younger siblings, she was married off to a man she barely knew. For the next 23 years, her marriage would rule her life. Eventually, when Haart’s younger daughter, Miriam, started to innocently question why she wasn’t allowed to sing in public, run in shorts, or ride a bike without being covered from neck to knee, Haart reached a breaking point. She knew that if she didn’t find a way to leave, her daughters would be forced into the same unending servitude that had imprisoned her.

So Haart created a double life. In the ultra-Orthodox world, clothing has one purpose—to cover the body, head to toe—and giving any thought to one’s appearance beyond that is considered sinful, an affront to God. But when no one was looking, Haart would pore over fashion magazines and sketch designs for the clothes she dreamed about wearing in the world beyond her Orthodox suburb. She started preparing for her escape by educating herself and creating a “freedom” fund. At the age of 42, she finally mustered the courage to flee the fundamentalist life that was strangling her soul.

Within a week of her escape, Haart founded a shoe brand, and within nine months, she was at Paris Fashion Week. Just a few years later, she was named creative director of La Perla. Soon she would become co-owner and CEO of Elite World Group, and one of the most powerful people in the fashion industry. Along the way, her four children—Batsheva, Shlomo, Miriam, and Aron—have not only accepted but embraced her transformation.

Propulsive and unforgettable, Haart’s story is the journey from a world of no to a world of yes, and an inspiration for women everywhere to find their freedom, their purpose, and their voice.

*Includes a downloadable PDF containing photos and end notes from the book 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2022 Julia Haart (P)2022 Random House Audio

What listeners say about Brazen

Average Customer Ratings
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Loved It

I listened to this book straight through. I was really fascinated by her life story and actually found myself wanting to be her friend. It’s very well told in an amazing narration.

3 people found this helpful

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Probably best on audible

The story is great even if Julia is a little redundant using the same phrases and adjectives repeatedly. Her voice performance is top notch. I would have liked more of a focus on how she left the community rather than how she entered a hoe phase while she left. I wish the book brought us up to current events and discussed her second marriage. I felt like there’s definitely room for a part 2. Even with the redundancy and the repetition I would use an audible credit for anything she puts out. This is her first book, so it will be flawed she also isn’t an educated writer or author. Given her own limitations it is still a great story with insight into her previous life and how she overcame a lot of obstacles.

2 people found this helpful

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Wow almost 20 hours of disappointment

It repeats so many unimportant facts. I was so anxious to read this book because I wanted know how she made it from a very closed life to running a huge company. There was so much about an ex lover Lucas and nothing about her meeting and marrying the man she chose. How did that change her life and how it ended in separation/divorce. That was what was presented in her show and that’s how most of us know her. It’s a shame that as a woman who keeps talking about her freedom she buried the lead. A very long 20 hours of her telling a story to her kids because I didn’t care.
Also I don’t get how she dreamed her brother was dead and the story shifted to that reality. The transition was fairy like and made no sense until the reader figures out it probably happened. Just tell the story. She keeps trying to tell us how smart she, which I don’t doubt, but she detours from her story to tell you that. I never write lengthy reviews but I was looking forward to this book for months and it was a huge disappointment. Could not wait for it to end. I stuck it out hoping she would complete the current story of what she presented in her show.

2 people found this helpful

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Awesome and inspiring

I loved the book. she's real. I totally appreciate this , and her determination

2 people found this helpful

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Well done

This is fascinating & educational…thanks for courageously sharing your story with the world. It’s a must listen for anyone who wants to hear a brave account of the author’s life journey.

2 people found this helpful

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Beautiful Bravery

This story, like the author, is infinitely valuable and so important. Anyone who has had experience with coercive controlling subcultures or relationships will both resonate and empathize with Julia’s heart. Her resolve, honesty, and curiosity is a master class in being human.

1 person found this helpful

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Fundamentalism, American “Freedom of Religion”, and the Resistance

An account at once terrifying, inspiring, humorous, shocking, narrated in the unique voice of a brilliant survivor. Do not be deceived, though. This triumphant voice exposes shocking abuse and ignorance which is allowed to destroy innocent lives in a progressive society that claims to value women and children, because of its stranglehold on political power disguised as “religion”.

1 person found this helpful

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Quite a woman. Quite a story.

The way she went into so much sexual detail was a bit much and I would have preferred to hear about her current husband and her love story. She met him right at the end of the book. Either way, well done Julia in life and on paper. Wishing you all good things.

1 person found this helpful

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Addicting & Inspiring

Julia’s story was addicting, inspiring and relatable to all. I couldn’t stop listening. I bought both the audio and physical copies of the book. Her newfound mental and physical freedom is something we can all aspire to. Great read!

1 person found this helpful

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Missing key points

I felt that she left out a lot important aspects of her life out. How did her parents react? How her her relationship with them today? How did she convince 3 of her kids to leave as well? How is her relationship with her ex- husband now? And how did she end up marrying Silvio? I felt she repeated herself a lot. And became a workaholic and lost a lot of her core values she use to teach and believe. I think she went from one extreme to another.

1 person found this helpful