Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of my Hasidic Routes by Deborah Feldman

Audiobook narrated by: Rachel Botchan and Cassandra Campbell

Insight into the lives and customs of Hasidic Jews

My rating: 5 out of 5

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 A wonderful memoir about being part of the New York Hasidic Jewish community, and how the author struggled against many of the strict rules and the lifestyle.

UnorthodoxHaving watched Unorthodox on Netflix, I was drawn to this memoir to discover how much of the film version was true.  I was glad I’d seen the film version first as it helped me visualise many of the events described, but the audio book went into so much more depth.  Deborah Feldman describes her childhood and takes the listener right through to the current day (with the help of an Afterword).  It is a fascinating look at the beliefs, customs and everyday life of this community, told from the point of view of someone who begins to question her beliefs and lifestyle, and eventually leaves the community.

It took me about 30 minutes to get into the Audiobook, and having seen the film first definitely helped.  Chapters are very long – about an hour listening time.   However it is a fascinating listen. 

5*s from me as it was so interesting to learn of a way of life, that I knew little about.  Deborah Feldman’s story flowed well, and left me wondering, and surprised, at some of the strict rules in place, for example the prohibitions around book reading.   Recommended listening for anyone interested in the lives and customs of those from different communities. 

USA cover