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Thursday, June 21, 2012
Unorthodox By Deborah Feldman This fascinating, heartfelt memoir is written by a young woman who grew up in a Satmar community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY. It is an ultra ashkenazi hasidic community that is a small, private, Jewish group living by very strict religious laws. They speak Yiddish, separate men and women completely and educate by their own guidelines. Deborah is raised by her grandparents, who have her live by their unbending rules but love her and want the best life they feel they can give her. From a very young age this intelligent, independent girl can only wonder what life would be like outside of Williamsburg. She sneaks books from the public library. Reads and writes in English and dreams of a bigger, fuller life. Deborah is later married to a stranger set by a matchmaker at 17 yrs old. This is the beginning of a new life and the end of another. This memoir is an enjoyable, easy, must read. Are we the people we are told to be from birth or must we give in and lead the life we believe we were meant to live even if it hurts those who love us?