Customer Reviews for

Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots

Average Rating 4
( 164 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(68)

4 Star

(49)

3 Star

(28)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(11)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

36 out of 41 people found this review helpful.

A must-read!

"Unorthodox" is an authentic, gripping narrative of the author's experiences growing up in an oppressive religious Hasidic community, and of how she courageously walked away from that community to provide a better life for herself and her child. Having lived many years ...
"Unorthodox" is an authentic, gripping narrative of the author's experiences growing up in an oppressive religious Hasidic community, and of how she courageously walked away from that community to provide a better life for herself and her child. Having lived many years in that community myself, I can attest to the veracity of the author's description of the Hasidic lifestyle, as well as relate to the challenges she faced in leaving, and the exhilaration of being able to freely explore the world outside. The story, while poignant, also has its humorous moments. It is certainly as entertaining to read as it is informative, and for those looking for a good book to read it will not disappoint.

posted by BklynBookBuff on October 17, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

26 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

Well-written

I noticed there are many negative reviews, but the readers never indicate that they've actually read the book. Since I have read the book, I will say it's carefully written. While Deborah details the daily life of the Satmars, she's also very conscious not to add too mu...
I noticed there are many negative reviews, but the readers never indicate that they've actually read the book. Since I have read the book, I will say it's carefully written. While Deborah details the daily life of the Satmars, she's also very conscious not to add too much judgment. Her writing seems very honest. For example, she conveys an awareness of the material things she covets after her engagement and marriage.

One thing the Satmars who are angry with Deborah and also Deborah herself doesn't seem to notice. The reason she noticed what was missing in her life was because she dipped her toes into our pool. In essence, she ate from the tree of knowledge, and once she did, she was unable to feel satisfied with the life she had. Being treated as an outcast by her own family, what did she really have to lose? I came across a few sites where people are defaming her, and I'm sure the Satmars are unhappy mostly because they are private and exclusive and she's basically torn the veil off their secret society, but so it goes. This is her story, and if it doesn't align with other Satmars, so be it. That doesn't mean it isn't true.

posted by AlexaF on February 21, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2012

    Although I found the book interesting and well written, I now be

    Although I found the book interesting and well written, I now believe that Deborah has a vendetta against this sect. She seems to post all over Facebook links concerning skewed views of Hassidism. She is certainly welcome to write about her own experiences, but can't she leave it at that? Does she has to post every hour a new "Look what they are doing now" link? I do not follow her any longer as this has gone from "my life and how I lived it" to "my life and everyone should do what I did". Very disappointing.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2014

    Underwhelmed

    Lame

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    I read this book because I am very interested in Judaism. I coul

    I read this book because I am very interested in Judaism. I could not find much on Satmar Jews so I thought that this book might be informational. While I do understand that this woman may have went through tough and distressing things in her life; I couldn't particularly relate to her. Many people go through trials and tribulations that challenge them. Was it necessary to write a book to get back at the people who someone perceives has done them wrong? I don't think so; why not just walk away and live your life? An example is aunt in this story. She is made to seem like an evil person, but it seemed to me that she was trying to step in as a parent surrogate in a way. Was she perfect? Maybe not, but the author's attitude was entirely ungrateful. I don't think that would have changed even under the best of circumstances. Another issue that I had with this book was that this author shared intimate details of a private married life in her book which could have been really embarrassing to her ex-husband. Humiliating someone in such a way was insensitive and appalling. I was also upset that apparently little consideration was given to the author's child and the fact that not only did you betray your heritage, but you also cut him off from his father and extended family. Lastly; I wanted to touch on the author's take on her parents. In the book, she seems to make peace with her mother and befriend her even though she abandoned her. However; the author never changes her opinion of her father. This was sad, in my opinion, because flaws or not he was her father. Maybe from the inside looking out the author was miserable because there was so much she couldn't do, but looking inward and being appreciative of being a part of a close community might have made her a little more appreciative.

    I give the book 2 stars because I did read it all the way through, but was just not that impressed with the story itself. It was too full of malice for my liking.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    Review1334926324920

    This is a really nice book!1334926324920

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2012

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    Posted February 14, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2012

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