Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman


By Deborah Feldman

  • Release Date: 2012-02-14
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 913 Ratings
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The instant New York Times bestselling memoir of a young Jewish woman’s escape from a religious sect, in the tradition of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Infidel and Carolyn Jessop’s Escape, featuring a new epilogue by the author.

As a member of the strictly religious Satmar sect of Hasidic Judaism, Deborah Feldman grew up under a code of relentlessly enforced customs governing everything from what she could wear and to whom she could speak to what she was allowed to read. It was stolen moments spent with the empowered literary characters of Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott that helped her to imagine an alternative way of life. Trapped as a teenager in a sexually and emotionally dysfunctional marriage to a man she barely knew, the tension between Deborah’s desires and her responsibilities as a good Satmar girl grew more explosive until she gave birth at nineteen and realized that, for the sake of herself and her son, she had to escape.


  • A brave tale of awakening.

    By Gamez Mario
    Thank you for shining the light into such a closed and secluded community. By understanding more I now feel compelled to accept them and respect their way of life. The only thing missing in such a community is gender equality. A wonderful tale. Mario Gamez
  • Good Read

    By TRao10
    Interesting account of life inside the insular, religious Satmar community. The journey of growing up feeling "different" to finding her authentic self is fascinating. I look forward to Ms. Feldman's follow up book, Exodus.
  • Unorthodox

    By Shexy52
    I read this book all evening and did not want it to end. Related to the authors personal journey to create and live her own life, one where she was the driving force. Interesting facts about her Hassidic community and why they live as they do and believe what they believe. I hoe this is the first of more books to come from Deborah Feldman.
  • Amazing Amazing read

    By Sexyspartan2012
    I was hooked from beginning to end. It was an inspiring book with great visuals about a young woman's journey to freedom in the modern world. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a good nightclub read!!!!!!
  • Unbelievable

    By Koidesh
    The author of this book know very well that each word and every segment and episode of this book is false bluff and funny. א צורידערטע אפגעפארע פרוי, וואס אנטלויפט פונעם אייגענע שאטן, זי ווייסט אויך זייער גוט אז די גואישע לעבנסשטייגער איז גרוליג, פארשאלטען, און מיזרעבל....
  • Unorthodox

    By Careon
    I found this book very interesting. Both my parents were brought up in orthodox Jewish homes but they never talked much about it. It helped me understand some of their behaviors that seemed rather at odds to our daily lives. They had given up institutionalized Judaism by the time I was five. This book clarified a lot of things for me. I also enjoyed reading about how a woman found her strength and identity. This is a book worth reading from a historical prospective and is entertaining.
  • Riveting

    By Jenyenifer
    Could hardly put this book down. I am a reform Jew and have read other books on the Hasidic community. This was the most detailed one yet. I used to envy the fact that in that community everyone knows what is expected of them and how reassuring that must be, and now I finally see the other side of the rebel who wants freedom. Great story and writing. I'm going to have my daughters read it too. Thank you so much for sharing. From a Jewish female California dentist!
  • Unorthodox

    By Lisa studs
    Thank you for writing this book. I live very close to the Hasidic community in Lakewood nj and have always been curious about their culture. You have answered a lot of questions. The funny thing is now I want more! I would lose to hear more from your wonderful brave and amazing story!
  • Liberating Read!

    By Milanasays
    This was one of the best books i have read in a long time! Deborah gives you a direct perspective into the hasidic community and what is expected of them since the time they are born. Her story is captivating to say the least. Im sure there are millions of women in the hasidic community today who struggle with their need of freedom. Who sneak reading secular books for a mental escape to the outside world. Maybe those women will come across "Unorthodox" and have the motivation to find their own freedom. I salute Deborah for being brave and fighting not only for her own freedom but the freedom of her son! Hopefully some day her son can appreciate the difficult decision his mother made to provide a better life for him. For those of you that haven't read her story, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT! :)
  • Exceptional and inspiring

    By Adriannicus
    As a person nearly twice the author's age, I find myself in the awkward position of being given wisdom from such a young person. I am also from a restrictive religious culture where, despite my attempts to break free, the pure gravity of being raised I such an all-encompassing environment sucked me back in, and locked me down. I initially purchased this book as just an interesting read, but in the end, I've found inspiration in the author's courage. I hope to be able to read more from her in the future!