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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  3,355 ratings  ·  494 reviews
Inside the closed community of Borough Park, where most Chassidim live, the rules of life are very clear, determined by an ancient script written thousands of years before down to the last detail--and abuse has never been a part of it. But when thirteen-year-old Gittel learns of the abuse her best friend has suffered at the hands of her own family member, the adults in her ...more
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Walker Publishing (first published August 2nd 2010)
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Tiphany Well the author comes from a Chassidic background. She was inspired by her own experiences.
Kayleigh Yes. On the back of This is Not a Love Story it says: "Judy Brown wrote the controversial novel Hush under the pseudonym Eishes Chayil because of…moreYes. On the back of This is Not a Love Story it says: "Judy Brown wrote the controversial novel Hush under the pseudonym Eishes Chayil because of feared backlash in the Chassidic world".(less)

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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,355 ratings  ·  494 reviews

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Emily May
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, young-adult

I was going to go to bed and write a review in the morning but I can't sleep because this book has affected me so much. I'm really quite disturbed and upset by this so if you're looking for something light and easy: stay away from Hush.

The first piece of advice I would give someone who's going to read this book is to stick with it. I normally find that my initial instincts are correct when reading a novel, if I struggle to get into it in the first few chapters I often never do. However, though I was i
Dec 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Do you remember studying the Holocaust in grade school? There was a famous saying that you probably learned:

“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”

—Martin Niemoeller

Niemoeller’s immortal and po
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
Reading this book felt like banging my head on a wall...slowly...very...very...slowly.

Eishes Chayil (a pseudonym) is not an experienced writer, and while this is an important story with broad implications, it's not well told. There is no real plot; characters aren't developed; and the actual story line is bogged down in irrelevant details and minutia.

There are two things warring here: Chayil's desire to draw attention to the problem of sexual abuse in a cloistered religious community (an ultra
Steph Su
Jun 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: debs10, best-of-10
HUSH, Eishes Chayil’s pseudonymously written debut novel, is an astonishing look into the highs and lows of an incredibly insular community. It will bring you to your knees, laughing and crying, and is the type of book that you’ll want to pass around to everyone, regardless of their age.

Eishes Chayil makes you feel as if you are truly part of Gittel’s Jewish community. You have grown up surrounded by these people, raised on the prejudices and traditions and beliefs of the community.
Feb 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, 99-problems
When I moved to Brooklyn several years ago from Harlem, I became absolutely, absolutely obsessed by the traditional Jewish enclave near Wallabout Street. I loved riding the bus from Greenpoint to Prospect Park or Rachel Silverman's apartment on Eastern Parkway purely to catch a glimpse of the groups of men and your boys hurrying from home to yeshiva. And I became especially fascinated with the extremely large families of six to seven children mothered by beautiful girls who looked to be the same ...more
Oct 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A substantial story told through the voice of a young Jewish girl forced to remain silent after witnessing a terrible act of violence, Hush divulges the devastating secrets of a closed community.

I admit that it was tough to take in Chassidism at first, but I realized that these characters, although different, were the same in their humanity and emotions as others - they cared for each other in times of prosperity and hardship, and had their ups and downs. The book is filled with humorous
Aug 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Well, this is an interesting book for anyone reading it but particularly for us goyim, to say the least. It is written under a pen name to protect the author and is essentially a revelation of the Chassidim life in NYC . Every aspect of their ghetto life is revealed from prayer, food, schooling, marriage, etc but unfortunately it also reveals the painful aspect when an unspeakable crime is committed in a family. It is hidden from the authorities and the community at large. Ultimately this decisi ...more
This book just didn't work for me.

The first half was excrutiatingly slow, told in an alternating timeline of the narrator at 9 years old and at 17 years old. There was such an information dump about Hasidic history and culture in the first part of the book that it felt disjointed and unfocused and I wasn't able to connect with the story. When the narrative moved strictly to the present, the book moved along at such a quick pace and everything seemed to wrap up rather quickly. Perhaps it would b
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eva Leger
Sep 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommended to Eva by: Good Golly Miss Holly
Shelves: y-a, b-fiction
maybe 3.5 - I thought about what my feelings were and what I would say about this book the entire time I was reading it. The chapters alternate, for the most part, between the main character, Gittel, at 10 years old and at 17/18 years old. They seemed to mesh seamlessly which is always a gigantic plus but the childish voice from the 10 year old carried over to the adult. And please know that when I say 'childish' I mean childish.
I totally understand that someone in an ultra-orthodox religious community such
Nov 10, 2011 rated it liked it
An interesting expose of the insular world of Hasidic Judaism (I'll use the gentile spelling). Written with a pseudonym, the author takes great pains, I think, to prove that she knows what she is talking about in terms of how ultra-orthodox Jewish communities operate. And therein lies the rub. I think it is quite OK to provide enough detail for non-Jews to understand the mindset. I have a particular affinity for Judaism in most of its forms, and read a lot of novels focusing on the faith. It is ...more
Hush is not something I would have picked up on my own, and I was hesitant going in because the subject matter is one of my triggers. However, I'm really glad I read it, so I have the upcoming book club to thank.

Gittel grew up in the Chassidic Jewish community in Borough Park, Brooklyn, which is steeped in millennia of tradition. Now seventeen and in her last year of school, she's expected to become a wife and mother, but her past still haunts her. When Gittel was ten, she was in the sam
Beth Dailey Kenneth
Oct 25, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: vsba2010
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 09, 2010 rated it liked it
When I first heard about Hush, I thought it might have been inspired by the book Push - dealing with a somewhat similar situation, sort of, though in a drastically different setting - and I wonder now if the writer derived strength from that book, in realizing how uplifting dark stories can be.
What sets Hush apart from other books of its nature, I think, is its ring of authenticity. This woman knows her stuff. When I read the Romance Reader, another work of a former Chassidishe woman who n
Apr 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011, ya, 5-star
This was a very riveting read, but not an easy read, even though the language in some of it is quite child-like. How's that for a conundrum?
The chapters alternate between a time in the narrator's life when she is 8/9 years and and then 17/18 and while that can be confusing, in this case, the switches back and forth are so well done that they aren't jarring, nor will you be thinking I don't want to read this, get me back to the other part of the story. Both present and past stories are stro
Oct 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have just finished reading "Hush". Twice. Written as a YA book, it should be required reading for every leader of such a religious community who is charged with the well-being of children,. The author's pseudonym, Eishes Chayal, is well chosen. It means "woman of valor", and she is. She has risked the wrath of the Powers That Be of her community to knock a huge hole in the wall of silence that they use to protect themselves against the evils that are not supposed to happen in a holy community. ...more
Bethany Miller
Sep 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Born on the same day in the same hospital, Gittel and Devory have been best friends since birth. Both girls live in Borough Park, a neighborhood in Brooklyn that is home to the Chassidim – followers of a very strict form of Orthodox Judaism. This sect is a tight knit community in which everyone follows a stringent set of rules and shuns outside goyishe (non-Jewish) influences such as television and the internet. The year is 1999 and Gittel and Devory are eight years old. The
Jan 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
After remembering the cause of her best friend Devory's suicide at age nine, Gittel is determined to raise awareness of sexual abuse in her Borough Park, New York, community, despite the rules of Chassidim that require her to be silent.

I found this story to be utterly compelling and I was so fascinated by the descriptions of Chassidic culture and by the appalling and very emotional story of sexual abuse.

The book uses time shifts to simultaneously tell the story of Devory and to expl
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This novel is written by an ultra-orthodox Chassidic women from Brooklyn, New York who uses the pseudonym Eishes Chayil, which translates as "Woman of Valor." As a young girl she saw a friend being molested, and she bases this heart-breaking novel on that. The topic of sexual abuse is especially timely in light of the recent display of allegations against certain politicians, a Hollywood mogul, directors, actors and others in all walks of society. However, the author's glimpse into the conscript ...more
Dichotomy Girl
Nov 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a good, if painful book, that brought out a myriad of emotions; Frustration, anxiety, sadness, as it explored themes of abuse, guilt, anger and fear in a strict religious environment.

It was a bit difficult in the beginning as their are alot of Jewish terms, but it is definitely worth sticking with.
Jul 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: jewish-ebraismo
3.5 for me , review to come.
Well, there was absolutely no way I wasn't going to read this, a YA novel about the social issues of sexual abuse denial in the Hasidic community in Borough Park, Brooklyn. While I read it, it reminded me of another book, The Bermudez Triangle , simply in that I was not deeply enjoying it as a novel, but the subject was so damn good I wasn't going to quit til I knew everything it had to say.

I've enjoyed reading novels about Orthodox Judaism (and religion generally) since I was a kid, which is pr
Book Sp(l)ot
Aug 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who liked Such a Pretty Girl or The Chosen One
As part of Bloombury's Blog Tours, I was able to review Eishes Chayil's Hush, I also have a contest on my blog ( -ends Sept 30, '10.

Synopsis: Meaning women of valor in Hebrew, Eishes Chayil is the pen name of a young Chassidic New York woman. Growing up in Borough Park, Brooklyn, Gittel and her whole family, really her whole life is part of the very insular Chassidic Jewish community in which she lives.

Their community, where most Chassidim live is
Apr 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I really got lucky on this. I was going to ask someone at my former employer to send me their ARC when they were done. Apparently, my order for this (placed months ago) wasn't canceled so it showed up at my house yesterday.

I got through the first 50 last night and covered another 15 this morning - it's that hard to put down.

I have always thought the plot device of jumping between the past and present can be very useful when done well and the author uses it beautifully to
Lily (WhoLockian)
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
* Paperback: 368 pages
* Publisher:Walker Childrens; Reprint edition (February 28, 2012)
* ISBN-10: 0802723322
* Author: Eishes Chayil
* Cover art: I really like it, I love the words across the face.
* Obtained: My personal library
* Overall rating: **** out of 5 stars

Hush by Eishes Chayil
Reviewed by Moirae the fates book reviews

nside the closed community of Borough Park, where most Chassidim live, the rules of life are ve
Mar 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to understand Chassidic Jews better
Took me a few weeks to get through this, because of the difficult subject matter. I stayed up too late the last night that I read it, fascinated by the details of the Chassidic way of life and marriage. I found their idea that your soul is once again whole the day you get married very touching. I had about 20 more pages to finish when I finally made myself go to sleep, and at that point I would have given it 5 stars. The ending was slightly more pedestrian, though, and I ended up slightly less a ...more
Eli Mandel
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
I just finished rereading this book, like five minutes ago, and I'm shaken, shaken and shaking.
The book is very well constructed; in the first half it runs smoothly back and forth between 1999 and 2008. We see the young friends Gittel and Devory playing together, discovering the world allowed to them, that is the world inside the invisible walls of Borough Park, together. We also see the slow revealing of the tragedy that shapes Gittel's life. At the same time we're getting to know Gittel
Maggie Anton
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jewish, young-adult
I recently finished reading Hush, another book about women in the Hasidic world, this one for teen audiences. Dealing with sexual abuse in the ultra-Orthodox community, Hush is written under the pseudonym Eishes Chayil [Hebrew for “Woman of Valor,” the prayer from Proverb 31 that a Jewish husband traditionally addresses to his wife just before Shabbat dinner].

A hybrid novel-memoir [the author admits changing details to protect people’s privacy], this is one of the best books I’ve read in a long
Sep 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
In a Sentence: As compelling as Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Hush is the tragic story of what happens when those who could have spoken choose to stay silent.

My Thoughts

**Thanks to the people at Bloomsbury for providing me with a review copy of this book!**

I find it almost ironic that I was signed up to be on a blog tour for Hush directly following the aftermath of the Speak controversy started by Dr. Wesley Scroggins in Missouri. Though the titles of the two books (Speak and Hush) would suggest/>
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
Hush was not what I thought it was going to be.
This book is about a very very religious Jewish community called the Chassidim. I was very confused at first. The author uses many terminology and words that aren't in English. I hate using the glossary so often so I inferred many words. This book did not feel realistic, especially when I realized it was taking place in 2008. How can any society be so archaic in this day and age. So until I read the authors note at the end I was skeptical. But
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Eishes Chayil is a pseudonym for a descendant of some of the main founders and leaders of Chassidut in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Poland. She was raised in a world of Chassidic schools, synagogues, and summer camps. She works as a journalist for two international orthodox papers located in Brooklyn, New York.
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“Sometimes we build such high walls for protection that we forget that our greatest enemy can grow from within.” 28 likes
“Can the dead hear our prayers? When the words come floating up, do they go straight to God's sacred domain, or does all of heaven know our desperation?” 5 likes
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