Michelle Robinson's Reviews > Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots

Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman
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's review
Jul 25, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: autobigraphical
Read on July 25, 2012

** spoiler alert ** This is a good read so far, it has the feeling of someone writing a number of years ago. I knew it had ben written recently, however, it was jarring when she referred to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centers.
I imagine it is because everything that happens to Deborah feels so removed from life as I know it that it feels from another time.

There were times that I found the book hard to stick with. It drags for me but overall, I am interested in seeing how it ends.

I do find it interesting how so many religions (that happen to share some similar background or history) seem to have so many stringent requirements for women, their dress and their hair.

Very interesting read. I felt that it was a very honest coming of age book that happened to be about a woman who had been sheltered to the point of painful ignorance.
I liked how she told the story of her marriage without making her husband an ogre or herself a saint. They were just wildly incompatible people and he seemed to not be very honest.

I enjoyed reading of how she came to a place of loving and knowing her baby. Her honesty, concerning her feelings related to being a mother were refreshing and interesting to read, even if they were a little sad.

I would reread this book. I felt that I could learn a great deal from Deborah.
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Reading Progress

07/25/2012 page 131
48.0% "I just read a passage in which, Deborah met a young person who had visited Europe a place she would like to see. This person who got to go to Europe spole only of the graves of the Rabbis she visited. I immediately thought, is that all you saw? It surprised me and please me when Deborah, in the very next passage asks almost my question verbatim."
07/25/2012 page 135
50.0% "It is really shocking that she only met her further spouse once.
She thought he was hoping for some type of romance between them, and maybe he is but for some reason, for me he feel a bit controlling. I don't know we'll see."
07/25/2012 page 153
56.0% "Oh my goodness! I don't know what to think, poor Deborah had no idea about her vagina.
Ib this day and age I cannot believe how much she was not taught about innate parts of physical self. All people have a right to this basic information it just allows you to know more of who you are to have ownership. Anyway.. Fascinating book, I'm all in now."
07/25/2012 page 153
56.0% "oh my goodness! I had no idea Deborah was going to have to get her head shaved. I'm speechless. I am not at all surprised by the wedding night. It is too bad for them though."
07/25/2012 page 153
56.0% "Okay this is possibly a horrible spoiler. If someone happens to read these updates and are interested in reading this book, I have already discussed in more detail than I usually do what I think of this book. However, I can't help but say that I think her husband is possibly gay?"
07/25/2012 page 173
64.0% "*spoiler**
Ok, I just began to read again. I am DISGUSTED they must take these ritual baths before marriage the water isn't clean????? UGH It's bathwater from other women who had to get ritually clean before them. The thought is just making my flesh crawl. I'm not trying to judge it is just grossing me out."
07/25/2012 "okay I am completely flabbergasted. I cannot believe she went back to the mikvah for ceremonial cleaning. I would like to think that I would ask for clean bathwater if I was to go back."
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