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Deborah Feldman was born into an insular Satmar Hasidim community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Raised by her grandparents, she rebelled against the sect's strict controls even as a child, smuggling in "forbidden" works by Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott. Problems escalated precipitously when at seventeen, she was married to a man who she had known for only half an hour. This memoir unrolls the story of her marital crisis, her breakdown and her escape from the world she had known all her life. Jeannette Walls calls this book "a brave, riveting account of her journey. Unorthodox is harrowing, yet triumphant." This paperback edition contains a new epilogue by the author.