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July 2017: Award Winners > Disobedience - 4 stars by Naomi Alderman

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message 1: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 7962 comments Winner of the Orange Award for New Writers. I picked up the book for two reasons, and discovered this accolade on the front cover. For one, it had looked interesting to me and was on my TBR. Its also the July read for the Jewish Book Club, whom I occasionally write a review for. I actually hope I'm not the only one to read and review it this month. I thought it was great - really great!

The story is told in its blurb to be about a gay daughter of an Orthodox Jewish Community in London. Which is an interesting premise that held my interest. What I liked about the extremely well written and well developed story, is that it was also respectful of the Orthodox Community. It could have been written a number of ways, and this one was written beautifully. It had a number of torah commentaries and explanations in there, which were not meant to take a side, rather to explain where some of the precepts emerge from. There were also compelling biblical stories, that acted as a guide, most profoundly to the story, about the transcendent love between (King) David and his close friend Jonathan, who was the son of King Saul. It was written from two points of view. The book would begin in the third person, and we would learn about Esti and Dovid through the writers eye. However Ronit, the Rav's daughter spoke in her own voice, in a different typeset, which made sense, given her outsider and more American voice. It isn't until much later in the book that we hear Esti speak in her own voice, and when she does, its incredible. Its brilliant character and plot development intertwined. Granted, the climatic end of the book is a bit implausible, but its so perfect and so much fun, that one just has to entertain a suspension of disbelief.

Speckled through this, are Ronit's thoughts and experiences with her therapy - which I of course loved and ate up. Much of that made the book for me. Her character development was wonderful and spot on. It was very well done. Should it have won the award? Absolutely. This author is one to follow.

message 2: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6212 comments So glad you liked this one so much, Amy!! I am Jewish, but totally not religious, so not sure it would be for me, but your review has me on the fence for sure.

message 3: by Tracy (new)

Tracy (tstan) | 1160 comments This sounds good- great review!
I read The Power by her, and loved it, so I'm putting this on my wishlist right now.

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