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Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots Kindle Edition
“A brave, riveting account... Unorthodox is harrowing, yet triumphant.”
— Jeannette Walls, New York Times bestselling author of The Glass Castle
“A sensitive and memorable coming-of-age story... Imagine Frank McCourt as a Jewish virgin, and you've got Unorthodox in a nutshell.”
— Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Compulsively readable, Unorthodox relates a unique coming-of-age story that manages to speak personally to anyone who has ever felt like an outsider in her own life.”
— School Library Journal
“It's one of those books you can't put down.”
— Joan Rivers, in The New York Post
“An unprecedented view into a Hasidic community that few outsiders ever experience.”
— Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“[Feldman’s] matter-of-fact style masks some penetrating insights.”
— The New York Times
“Eloquent, appealing, and just emotional enough... No doubt girls all over Brooklyn are buying this book, hiding it under their mattresses, reading it after lights out—and contemplating, perhaps for the first time, their own escape.”
— The Huffington Post
— Marie Claire
About the Author
- ASIN : B005GG0M60
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster; Media Tie-In edition (February 14, 2012)
- Publication date : February 14, 2012
- Language : English
- File size : 2943 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 273 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #16,013 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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I, too, grew up in a closed religious community - the horse and buggy Old Order Mennonites in Pa.. So often I felt misplaced, and felt as if the stork had dropped me off with the wrong family. Nowadays, they have GPS so it doesn't happen as much. ;) Our "Holocaust Bible" was the Martyr's Mirror - a large leather bound book filled with the most horrible accounts, including photos, of my ancestors the Anabaptists, being tortured and killed for their Christian beliefs.
About the 1-2 negative reviews:
Some reviewers say that the author lied a lot. Based on my own experiences of what goes on in closed and insular communities, I can say without a doubt that everything she wrote is absolutely believable to me. Another reviewer said that many of the 1-2 star reviewers had "skin in the game". I would agree; and also it's likely that many of the 1-2 stars were simply written by paid trolls; or jealous people envious of the author's writing talents and success.
Some said the author is shallow...blah blah blah. I say they clearly missed, and misinterpreted, a whole lot! Becoming your authentic self is a long process, even for many people under NORMAL circumstances. Trust me, I know whereof I speak. I'm in my low sixties, and the healing is still ongoing.
My ex-husband, and my current husband, are both ex-Catholics. My mother was deathly afraid of Catholics. She said they (Roman Catholics) were the people who tortured our ancestors. So, my husband's ancestors tortured my ancestors. But, we didn't have anything to do with that. I chose to be willing to shed that emotional heritage/baggage. The buck stops here. I want to live with as much joy, in the present moment, as is possible.
Looking at life from one point of view:
Predators on one side, and the persecuted or prey on the other side...two sides of one coin. This is not to say that it's inevitable that we all experience this, but until we realize we can toss that coin aside and rise above the battlefield, then most likely it will continue to some degree. "All the world's a stage..." Like Eckhart Tolle, we can become observers.
While at times I find it slow to read, it’s more of my excitedness to get to the “good part” of her choices that led to her leaving the community. Other reviewers have called her a liar, I find that quite Unbelievable considering how insulated and sometimes disturbing so many isolated religious communities in the US are when brought to light. Still others have criticized her “unfeeling attitude” towards her baby son, but as a mother myself I walk with her, slowly understanding that she can’t feel for him until she’s free herself, physically and emotionally, and then everything, including motherly emotion, open up to her. It makes a lot of sense to me. It’s a process!
I applaud her efforts to bring this expose about and I can’t wait to read more of her work. Bravo! Highly recommend!
She is callous and frigid (towards everyone) she complains her husband said she will never be happy and she certainly seems miserable and critical and paranoid and arrogant. What an awful combo. Nothing inspirational about this person. I was hoping for a story of strength, growth, bravery, what you get is a whining victim who always thought the worst of everyone’s motives, had zero loyalty to anyone, and humble bragged every few pages. Her first day wearing jeans should have been such a powerful symbol of breaking free, thinking for ones self, having the guts to break out, but she only comments that all of the “gardeners” at her school whistled at her and she “doubted any other woman got that reaction when wearing jeans.” Stick to the show if you are interested at all. The actress who played the main character shed all of the self indignation and self aggrandizement this woman highlights throughout her story and showed grit, dignity, and pain in a powerful performance.
Top reviews from other countries
This is such an inspiring read, I admire her determination to leave and the calm way she writes about her traumatic life.
I hope she manages to make plenty of money and help other women to escape this humiliating existence, and to lead a happy life with her son.
My main impression from this story is how, from very early on this young girl knew that she was not born to live her destiny confined to the rules, structures and conventions of the culture and religion she was brought up to believe were the only truth. What wonderful strength of character and drive to be true to who she was destined to become... and still becoming. A story of hope, and trusting her own truth to lead her through life. Congratulations Deborah on choosing to live and not conform. A wonderful read, sometimes shocking, sometimes shockingly familiar.
It makes for a brilliant read, in my opinion, better than the series (which was amazing in its own right) but this just obviously has that personal touch, that raw shock that you can’t escape.
I think a few people have mentioned the book was tricky to read with the Hasidic words but in the latest edition it’s super easy to ready as the Hasidic is followed up with the English translation. It just adds to the atmosphere, authenticity by letting us see a little more of this world.
A must read in my opinion.