I Am Forbidden

I Am Forbidden

by Anouk Markovits
3.8 25

Hardcover(Large Print)

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Overview

I Am Forbidden by Anouk Markovits

A family is torn apart by fierce belief and private longing in this unprecedented journey deep inside the most insular Hasidic sect, the Satmar.

Sweeping from the Central European countryside just before World War II to Paris to contemporary Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I Am Forbidden brings to life four generations of one Satmar family.

Opening in 1939 Transylvania, five-year-old Josef witnesses the murder of his family by the Romanian Iron Guard and is rescued by a Gentile maid to be raised as her own son. Five years later, Josef rescues a young girl, Mila, after her parents are killed while running to meet the Rebbe they hoped would save them. Josef helps Mila reach Zalman Stern, a leader in the Satmar community, in whose home Mila is raised as a sister to Zalman's daughter, Atara. As the two girls mature, Mila’s faith intensifies, while her beloved sister Atara discovers a world of books and learning that she cannot ignore. With the rise of communism in central Europe, the family moves to Paris, to the Marais, where Zalman tries to raise his children apart from the city in which they live.

When the two girls come of age, Mila marries within the faith, while Atara continues to question fundamentalist doctrine. The different choices the two sisters makes force them apart until a dangerous secret threatens to banish them from the only community they've ever known.

A beautifully crafted, emotionally gripping story of what happens when unwavering love, unyielding law, and centuries of tradition collide, I Am Forbidden announces the arrival of an extraordinarily gifted new voice and opens a startling window on a world long closed to most of us, until now.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611735093
Publisher: Center Point Large Print
Publication date: 09/01/2012
Series: Platinum Readers Circle Series
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 303
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

ANOUK MARKOVITS grew up in France, in an ultra-orthodox Satmar home. She attended a religious seminary in England instead of high school, and left the fold at the age of nineteen to avoid an arranged marriage. She went on to receive a bachelor of science from Columbia University, a master of architecture from Harvard, and a PhD in Romance Studies from Cornell. Translations of I am Forbidden are forthcoming in a dozen countries. Markovits's first novel, Pur Coton, written in French, was published by Gallimard.

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I Am Forbidden: A Novel 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Pistachio77 More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful first book I believe for this author that kept me glued to my chair wanting more. I have to admit that I never read a book so fast in a matter of hours. It was quite an interesting story line and felt that I was in the characters shoes through their flood of emotions. By reading the novel's description, I would have passed on this read. I am sure glad that I second guessed myself to completing this novel and receiving a lesson in history that surpasses time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was instantly hooked. I dont like when people talk about the characters and the plot of a book, so I will simply say that if you are somewhat familiar with Orthodox Jewish culture and you love a well written book, this is for you. I thoroughly enjoyed myself while reading this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is barely a novella sample chapter is almost one fourth book please nook start a catalog review blurb and include text page count besides book page count. librsry of congress subject card too. Remember those? Page Counter
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
excellent book, could not put it down, shows what religion does to ones soul
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written story of a particular character, at a particular time. I especially enjoyed seeing a very personal look at Jewish culture and history.
CMKmom More than 1 year ago
This is a story about a fundamentalist Jewish community right after WWII- the story is about how the children were raised and the pain this fundamentalist religious sect caused the women with their edicts. The way women were treated was just awful with the men having full control of everything or else. There are small parts where concentration camps were mentioned. Many of the main characters lost parents and siblings. The story followed a couple of these children into adulthood. Along with the pain of loss was the dogmatic religious parts - those groups chose to not deviate from the strictness of their sect and it seemed to me they made life so much more difficult for these people. First it was the fear of WWII, and then pleasing the rabbis. I would have loved this book to be much longer - I just lived in the pages as the story progressed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't understand philistines who give a beautiful work like this a low rating because it they didn't feel they got their money's worth, as if they're paying by the word. What a sad way to evaluate art. If you have a gripe with B&N for not posting page length, take it up with them instead of dragging down the rating of a fine book. This was so good I bought it in hard cover so I could share it with a friend.
redhood More than 1 year ago
A sad story of what happens when any religion allows itself to go to extremes. Illuminating story draws you in to the final surprise endind. Secrets are dangerous.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have a great curiosity about other cultures, especially the religions and ways of life. I knew next to nothing about Hasidic Jews before reading this book, and was inspired after reading to continue a little more research into their beliefs and "rules". The story was engaging and well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story was decent but the book was boring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
FrancesNC More than 1 year ago
A heart-wrenching exploration of human longings and ambiguity, following four generations of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish family from early World War II in central Europe to 21st century New York City. Rich in details about a highly insular religious community, it offers much for intellectual and historic consideration but is, first and foremost, a deeply engrossing tale of love and personal conflict. The story begins like many tales of Holocaust victims and survivors, but quickly involves the reader in both the specific details of a Hasidic sect and the universals of human motives and emotions. This is a slim book and a fast read, but it stays in the mind and heart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I Am Forbidden is the story of two Hasidic Jewish girls raised together as sisters in WWII Europe. Mila, made an orphan by the atrocities committed against her people in that war, is delivered to Atara's family by another war-made orphan, Josef, a Hasidic Jew being hidden by a Christian woman. As the years pass, Mila's faith intensifies, in part because she hopes it will lead to her reunification with her parents. She and Josef find their way to each other again and marry. In those same years, Atara's faith falters, despite her intense bond with Mila, and the girls' relationship is broken. A secret eventually returns them to each other. The persecution of Jews during WWII and the Hasidism figure prominently in the novel and the reader learns quite a bit throughout its course about Hasidism, in particular, as it is an insular community about which most readers will, given its insular nature, know rather little. (The author was born into, and raised in, a Hasidic sect.) The reason I think the novel succeeds so well is that though its conflicts are situated in a particular time among a particular group of people, the questions it is exploring are universal: when we find ourselves trying to fend off or recover from the worst of life's cruelties and blows, what will sustain and heal us? What do we do when those things are in conflict? I Am Forbidden is a thoughtful, historical novel, written by a seemingly knowledgeable and sensitive author. It was a pleasure to be in the world she created, even if it offered no easy answers to the questions it presented.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the history and the cultural insights, but found the actions of several of the characters improbable. That a religious woman like Mila would act ad she did doesn't make sense, andher granddaughter, Judith, too? Lives are ruined because of decisions made with faulty thinking and no insight. It all doesn't ring true. I'd have preferred to learn more of Atara's life, ss she seems like a more interesting person. Knowing that the author herself escaped from a similar background, it seems to me that the depiction of the closed-mindedness of the Satmar community is meant as a slap at all the author left behind. I'm surr that there are people in thatcommunity who take joy in their way of living, but all that comes through in this book is negativity.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is actualky only about 150 pages. This does not give enough time to really develope tge characters plus it costs as much as much as a book with ywuce as many oages. I was hoping to get more insight on the cylture.