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Location: Brooklyn, NY, United States

14 April 2018


Disobedience by Naomi Alderman is a book that will stay in your thoughts for a long time after you finish reading. 

Ronnit Krushka grew up in an orthodox Jewish community in London. She was raised by her father after the death of her mother. Ronnit always pushed against the role she was given as a girl in that community. Now she lives in New York City. She has not been back home to Herndon for years.

When her father dies, she decides to go back. She wants her mother’s silver candlesticks, the things that remind her the most of her mother. Since the rift with her father is no longer a factor, she tells her cousin Dovid that she will be coming. Ronnit wonders where her best friend from childhood is now, she surely left the community like Ronnit.

Ronnit plans to spend a week or two in the place she grew up. She will clean out her father’s house and see some old friends, as well as her favorite cousin. But the community seems strange after so long away. And the men who run synagogue and community – not because they are especially pious, but because they are rich – are not as scary as they once were.

Alderman has written a thought-provoking novel. The three main characters are well developed and humanely flawed. Each has a decision to make. While I was not in love with all the characters for the whole book, that may be why I am still thinking about them well after finishing. This is a great book. (Based solely on the movie preview, they have changed the story quite a bit for the screen version.)

Alderman, Naomi. (2006). Disobedience. New York: A Touchstone Book.

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