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Publisher's Summary

In a cramped synagogue in north-west London, the eminent elderly rabbi passes away. On the other side of the Atlantic, his estranged daughter, Ronit, hears of her father's death and returns to London for the funeral. She has not returned home in 15 years.

Ronit looks forward to a week or two of revisiting old friends, perhaps settling old scores. But she finds the community she grew up in a more confusing place than she'd anticipated. Particularly when she is unexpectedly reunited with Esti, her childhood sweetheart, who has taken a very different path in life....

Disobedience is a hugely enjoyable and warm-hearted portrayal of characters caught between two worlds, and a wise exploration of sexuality, tolerance and faith.

©2006 Naomi Alderman (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A bold comic touch.... Like Brick Lane, offering a glimpse of a closeted and surprisingly English nook of British society." (Observer)
"A fresh, feisty peek at the hidden world of London’s Orthodox Jewish Community." (The Independent)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Loved this book!

Good story with great character development. One of the best narrations I have ever heard!

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Interesting but misguided

I found the ruminations on Orthodox Judaism insightful but I feel like the author was trying to write two books in one and the ruminating took me out of the story. Also, using homosexuality as a tool for this rumination is misguided, I understand what the author was trying to say but her attempt leads me to believe that she has no idea of how being gay actually works. It's borderline offensive.

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For anyone who struggles with formal religion

3 main characters struggle with identity and desire in a close knit orthodox community. They each transition to different and yet reasonable places . The triggering event is the death of someone who was a nurturing father figure to all three. I thought the book meaningful and enjoyable

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Overall it was ok, I guess... Not really.

This story had so much potential, but unfortunately the narrative went, in my opinion as a gay woman, in a homophobic direction. That whole speech about desiring someone of the same gender is ok as as long as you don't act on it is harmful. It would have been fine it had been addressed as so, but it isn't, too many questions remained unanswered by end but that might be just me, I hope they tweak a few things in the adaptation to the big screen.

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  • Lydia
  • 08-07-17

Find another narrator

You just needed to find someone who can pronounce Hebrew words. It's not that hard, seriously. This is an old favourite book of mine and audio is a disappointment. Constantly distracted by pronunciation mistakes.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Janet
  • 05-01-17

Multilayered

I chose this book after hearing Naomi talking on "Only Artists" Radio 4. I like the way she expressed herself. I had to listen to the first two chapters twice to get into but it was well worth it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-18-17

Narration problems

The narrator frustratingly mispronounces so many words that it actually becomes laughable! As well as frustrating

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-15-17

Great book badly read

This is an excellent novel, a subtle exploration of Jewishness, orthodoxy, father-daughter relationships, sexuality and community. But it really needed to be read by someone different, who doesn’t consistently mispronounce Hebrew and Yiddish words. Even we’ll known words like Shabbat were wrongly pronounced, let alone HaShem . This was profoundly irritating throughout.