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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars30
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 24 December 2012
Read this for book club and I was really moved by it. The story of sexual abuse in a Chasidic Jewish Community. Told through child's voices - a true story I believe - you could tell what was going on as an adult and really felt for the characters involved. The 'life goes on' aspect of the narrator growing up and getting married herself and therefore understanding a bit more about what sex is, and through that coming to terms with the loss of her friend was, in my humble opinion, expertly achieved. I am told that there are many other books out there on this theme, but this was enough for me. Well written, and the message received loud and clear. It will stay with me for some time!
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on 9 August 2013
Seen through the eyes of a young Orthodox girl, life in the Orthodox community with her loving family and devilish best friend, was dreamily pleasant. While some things seem strange to the reader, it all had its own internal logic. As she gets older,things start to change, and she gets insight into the darker side of living in such a cloistered world. The horror of what happens is worsened by the absolute unwillingness of the adults to 'hear' her.
I found the ending a bit hard to believe, things wrapped up a bit too easily. I was also quite intrigued with her husband, introduced towards the end, and was disappointed that he ended up such a minor character.
It is a quick read, leaving the with some insight into both the beauty and dark side of that community.
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on 30 June 2013
I do not as a rule read novels relating to child abuse as I find them too distressing and this one was equally distressing. However I was urged to read it by a friend and whilst I'm glad I did it was horrific to find out how child abuse and it's tragic consequences are hushed up in the very religious Jewish communities. The perps are rarely brought to justice and the victims suffer unimagineable traumas especially if they dare to speak out about it. The 'hush" in the title obviously relates to the cover up of a little girl's sexual abuse by someone in her family and her best friend's determination to bring this to the community's attention despite opposition from all quarters. It made for a very uncomfortable read but a justice of sorts was served in the end. Rather than 'love' or 'like' it, I admire the author for her courage in exposing this shameful aspect of a secretive community. I urge anyone who cares about vulnerable children to read this book and I pray for an end to this vile practice of condemning the innocent and protecting the guilty.
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on 3 January 2015
A sensitive, deeply felt account of a young girl's coming of age in a secretive community, this book manages to treat the theme of child abuse with the care it deserves. We are shocked and sad at the abusive situation, but at the same time the author doesn't condemn the entire community - a common problem when Hassidic communities are written about. The author obviously knows the community from within and understands both the values and the limitations of its way of life. There is no sensationalism and no exploitation of the theme, and I found myself moved by the story. Thoroughly recommended if you like literary novels and aren't afraid to read about the subject matter.
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on 26 January 2016
From the first page to the last' the author of this book, Eishes Chayil (Judy Brown) excels in making her point: even in a tight-knit community, where belief in God and the development of godly virtues are central, there is no protection from those who want to harm the community's most valuable asset - its children - from the unspeakable crime of child sexual abuse.

Chayil's writing is engaging, and despite the central subject matter, it is delightfully amusing at times; for instance, in its portrayal of the misunderstandings that come from childhood innocence, its depiction of family life, and the challenges of being a young couple who is ill-prepared for the expectations and difficulties of married life. Yet while portraying the Chasidic community with enormous love and affection, Chayil also manages to hold it accountable, to hold a mirror up to it, and point out the dangers of ignorance, its undesirable similarities with the outside world, and above all, the results of the terrible and lethal poison of silence.

Chayil's own words sum up the problem succinctly and perfectly: "We built walls, and built them high. The walls would keep the gentiles and their terrifying world far away. The walls would protect us and shelter us—and as we built them higher, thicker, wider, we forgot to look inside. We forgot that the greatest enemies always grow from within."

But this is not a book only about child sexual abuse in the Jewish community; this book will resonate with anyone who has concern for the protection of children everywhere, whether in the Jewish, Catholic, other religious communities, or within the secular world. It addresses us all, and holds us accountable.
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on 20 April 2014
An amazing story, well told and with true humanity. What a brave young lady to expose the situation to such a secular group of society and how wonderful to be supported by her husband who had the same type if upbringing and had known her for such a short time.

Let's hope that people will open their eyes and those who abuse will be brought to justice.
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on 12 March 2015
I could not put this book down as it grabbed me from the first page. This is the story of two girls growing up in an ultra orthodox community, their way of life, and how alleged cases of sexual abuse are brushed under the carpet. The story is very disturbing to think that these poor kids have no one to turn to as most of the community want to pretend that that sort of thing does not happen to people like them. Well done to Eishes Chayil for bringing this into the open.
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on 2 June 2013
Disappointing story I expected something more interesting.too much detail (esp.for those familiar with chassidic judaism) and the plot was not engaging in any way.
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on 19 December 2014
A fascinating story of sexual abuse within the orthodox community. Tragic but with a ray of hope at the end.
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on 12 June 2013
A very informative, and eye opening peek into the orthodox jews. They may think they are perfect but this story proves otherwise.
You must read it, especially if you have family who put themselves on a pedestal because they think you are frumer than them.
I can understand why the authoress has to hide her name. I wish I could find another book to match as this is a hard act to follow.
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