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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty, brilliant writing and an insight into another world
Ronit, a young orthodox jewish woman from Hendon escapes her past and moves to New York where she does everything a orthodox jewish woman shouldn't - she wears trousers, has sex with people who aren't her husband - even someone else's, smokes and drinks. Her father, the rabbi, then dies and she returns to go to his funeral and she returns to everything she...
Published on 8 Mar. 2006

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, but ultimately a little disappointing
I had high hopes for this when I picked it up in the bookshop but I was ultimately left slightly unsatisfied. Having said that, much of it was very good. The 3 main characters are all highly engaging and I found myself caring about them and their very different - and very complicated -lives. Ronit is the wayward ex-Orthodox daughter of an erudite (now dead) Rabbi. She...
Published on 24 Nov. 2008 by Ms. E. Saunders


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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, 16 Sept. 2007
This review is from: Disobedience (Paperback)
I found this book engaging although not all the characters were equally sympathetic or even consistent. Alderman's writing is fresh and her imagery is often inventive, but the three-strand narration often felt uneven. Disobedience takes the reader deep inside Jewish London, but it also seems to read like a post-modern romcom.

This is a book to ponder rather than flip through, but in the end I'm not sure it's worth the effort.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book., 12 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Disobedience (Kindle Edition)
This book provided a beautiful description of the narrow-minded orthodox Jewish community which I live in and love. Alderman's descriptions are thought provoking and meaningful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, 25 April 2014
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This review is from: Disobedience (Paperback)
I rate books often by how quickly I get into the story - and I was engaged from the start. Thought the ending could have been a bit stronger but overall a good read!!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a good afternoon's read, 30 May 2006
This review is from: Disobedience (Hardcover)
Started reading this on a wet afternoon and had finished it by bedtime! Easy to read and interesting too - I am jewish but not part of the ultra-orthodox community described here - there is lots I recognise from living in north west london myself but it also gave me more of an insight into how another part of my community live. I'm not sure how much non-jewish readers would follow - there are quite a lot of yiddish phrases, some of which even I didn't know. The characters aren't drawn in any great detail - some more insight into their feelings wouldn't have come amiss, especially Esti, who although a central character, is pretty much ignored until the end. Overall though, a nice book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars look at Hendon though new eyes, 21 Jan. 2010
By 
Adam Frankenberg "Kol adam" (Manchester UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Disobedience (Paperback)
The central characters in this novel work well and realistically drawn. Dovid, Esti, and the main character heroine Ronit. I am not sure that the same can be said of the more marginal characters in the story. I also find the stylistic device of moving between a first and third person narration a little off putting at first. All that said I was soon caught up in the dram and tension of the three main protagonist and their enclosed world of Orthodox North London (in this case Hendon). The story centers around an event that happened in the lives of Dovid, Esti and Ronit when they were younger and how this will play out with their adult selves on Ronit's return. Once into the story I really want to devour the book to know what would come next. But at the same time felt move by and for the main characters.

Each chapter starts with a couple of quotations from the Jewish tradition, and despite the controversy the book caused when it was published it is a very positive and Jewish story. For I while I went though a stage of giving it to a number of friends as present. So I would really recommend it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An intetesting insight into a subject I knew nothing about., 11 Oct. 2014
By 
C. N. Moore "Wheddons wizard" (Somerset, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Disobedience (Kindle Edition)
I am completely ignorant about orthodox Jews and found this book fascinating. I liked the way the chapters were started with a reference to a Bible story. Also the narrative was well written with the various characters telling their own stories. Although it was quite a page turner the end was a bit flat. I had hoped that Ronit, the main character, would do something spectacular! This was set as a book club read and I much enjoyed reading a book I probably would not have picked out myself.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful exploration of family, sexuality, tradition and grief, 17 Oct. 2006
By 
Sarah Durston (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Disobedience (Paperback)
'Disobedience' is basically the story of Ronit, a woman who grew up in the Orthodox Jewish community in Hendon. A few year before the events in the book she escaped all the tradition and went to live as a 'modern woman' in New York. She comes back to London following the death of her father, who was a Rabbi in the commnity.

I thought Naomi Alderman's first book was subtley written and deeply moving. It is a wonderful exploration of the meaning of tradition, religion and how we fall back on the familiar when all is going wrong.

During the first few chapters I thought I would have some difficulty with some of the Jewish terms, which I am not familiar with and aren't often explained, but I am really glad I persevered.

I should mention that it isn't all deadly serious either, there is a scene at a dinner party which really made me chuckle.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good but weak ending, 13 April 2014
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This review is from: Disobedience (Kindle Edition)
Well written but the story almost seemed to lose its way towards the end as if the writer had got bored! Still worth a read though.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual story, 20 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Disobedience (Kindle Edition)
I read this unusual story in one sitting. I am familiar with the Hendon community and wondered what other readers would make of references to Jewish practice as both Hebrew and Yiddish vocabulary was used without explanation and with no glossary.
However, the concept of people who abandon their roots and cannot find a happy place in the world, nor are they at ease with themselves, is a universal theme and rather well done in this book.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent, 18 Mar. 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Disobedience (Hardcover)
A fascinating, gripping read. Its rollicking sense of mischeif and fun never gets in the way of its essential intellectual depth and its unflinching exploration of an old culture's struggle to maintain itself in a modernizing world. Alderman makes it seem so deceptively simple to switch between vastly different voices- through one character the book reads almost as chicklit, the next moment it becomes a grave, sage and deeply resonant musing on the nature of humanity. The combination of voices in itself demonstrates the clash between tradition and progress that the story depicts so well.
Brilliant. Its up for the Orange prize and I hope it wins.
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Disobedience
Disobedience by Naomi Alderman (Paperback - 5 April 2007)
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