Book - 2006
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"In suburban north-west London, where leafy avenues wind into the countryside beyond, the Orthodox Jewish community of Hendon quietly conducts its daily life. Hidden from the gaze of outsiders, the faithful live, work, love and pray, with little concern for the sprawling metropolis outside." "But then a beloved rabbi dies, and his passing brings his wayward daughter home. For the past ten years Ronit has been living the life of a modern New York woman; returning home, she's looking forward to catching up with old friends, perhaps settling old scores. But it soon becomes clear that Hendon and Ronit don't fit. Her home has become a more unsettling place than she had anticipated. And when she is reunited with her childhood girlfriend Esh, who has taken a very different path in life, it's not long before the two women are forced to confront their pasts - and to examine the difficult choices they have made." "Disobedience is a novel that illuminates a culture that has existed in Britain for centuries, yet remains almost entirely hidden. Naomi Alderman offers a contemporary take on the search for love, faith and understanding in a world filled with conflicting moral and sexual ideals."--BOOK JACKET.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, c2006
ISBN: 9780743291569
Branch Call Number: FIC ALD
Characteristics: 227 p. ; 25 cm


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Nov 07, 2018

This story is an insightful reflection on how organized religion shapes the life of a community and the individuals within. We see how the words that guide the community, in this case the Torah, are interpreted to bind the group. We see how only certain members of the community are entitled to express their ideas and emotions. We see how members of the community are assigned specific roles and are prevented from stepping outside these boundaries. We see how there is safety for the group but a lack of autonomy for the individual. We also see the hierarchy at work in such a community, where too much power lies with the leader and very little with the women. Beautifully written, well structured, and carefully argued, this book is a delight to read. I can’t see how it could be made into a movie, because so much of the action takes place within the minds of the characters. Read the book for best effect.

ArapahoeLiz Jul 18, 2018

Really enjoyed this book! It was beautifully written and gives more in-depth explanation of each main character than I guess what the movie portrays. I have not seen the movie yet, but now I can't wait!

May 01, 2018

I enjoyed the theology and being part of the world of Hendon for a bit very much. Not entirely sure I found the ending believable but also didn't feel like I really knew the characters all that well. (Maybe they didn't know themselves all that well either.) Now to watch the movie!

Mar 19, 2018

Excellent first novel, there are some differences between the book and the movie (surprise).
Read the book before you see the movie, if you can.

May 19, 2017

I found this an interesting reflection on God and his relationship with man. The only creature to be given choice, man has to struggle with obedience and the lure of disobedience. Ronit has lived in New York for many years, happy as a non-observant Jew, when she is notified that her estranged father, Rav Krushka, has passed away in his Orthodox Jewish community of Henden in London. Reluctantly, she returns to England to tie up his estate. Here she confronts her past and her relationship with her father and her ancestral faith, and the strictures she escaped when she went to America. This glimpse into the life of the rigorous Orthodox Jew reveals traditions that mainstream Jews have long given up. I liked and appreciated the construction of this novel. We have the thoughts of Ronit, then her childhood friend Esti, and then we are presented with Biblical verses and their interpretations. Those verses and the thoughts on them gave me a sense of what it must be like for students of the Torah as they debate the meanings of each word. Interesting stuff.

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