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July 30, 2012

July Book: Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots

This month's book club choice was Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots.
My opinion:
I started this book with a minor head start. I say this only because I caught Opera's Life Class on OWN that was about this community. It was a great series about the women in the Hasidic culture and in the very same New York community. The 2 part series had Opera talking to 5-6 women about their daily lives. It was really interesting, one of the reasons I wanted to read this book.
The book was an interesting look into the mind of a child in the community. An insider's perspective on a very private, secluded community. I really enjoyed seeing the growth that takes place. You can see the independence and self value grow from something unexplained to something that can't be denied. 
It was really good.
I give it a solid 8.

After talking about the book with my book club and hearing that they did some research on the book and events that took place I got curious about the author. One of the girls wondered out loud if the authors blog was still up. This caused my search to start. 
I was not shocked to find blogs and articles trying to discredit Deborah and her book.
It's a personal account over many years in a community that is seen private and different from American society. People look after 'their own'. It's human nature.
I found the interviews given from people who went to school with the author interesting.

It's all a very 'he said, she said' thing.
I respect the fact that the author never claimed to be a journalist, just a writer.
But it also opens her book up for criticism... Point of view and personal experience doesn't necessarily equal fact.
The little thing about leaving a little sister completely out of the book doesn't really help.

So all in all, it was a good book.
I'm not thinking of it as a work of fiction based on someone's life, rather than a memoir.
I still recommend it.

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