Disobedience by Naomi Alderman
A Novel

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For Ronit Krushka, thirty-two and single, who lives on Manhattan's Upper West Side, Orthodox Judaism is a suffocating culture she fled long ago. When she learns that her estranged father, the pre-eminent rabbi of the London Orthodox Jewish community in which she was raised, has died, she leaves behind her Friday night takeout, her troublesome romance, and her boisterous circle of friends and returns home for the first time in years.

There, amid the traditional ebb and flow of the community -- the quiet young women returning from their kosher shops and the men with their tightly clutched prayer books -- Ronit reminds herself of her dual mission: to mourn and to collect a single heirloom -- her mother's Shabbat candlesticks. But when Ronit reconnects with her complex and beloved cousin Dovid and with a forbidden childhood sweetheart, she becomes more than just a stranger in her old home -- she becomes a threat.

Driven by wit and beautifully rendered detail, Disobedience pulls back the curtain on a devout and closed world. Set at the crossroads of tradition and modernity, of personal desires and the demands of God, Disobedience is about the importance of moving on and what we lose when we do -- and it is about the tendency toward disobedience that we all have.

About Naomi Alderman

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Naomi Alderman is the author of Disobedience, which won the Orange Prize for New Writers and has been published in 10 languages. She contributes regularly to the Guardian and lives in London.
Published September 6, 2006 by Touchstone. 240 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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She has renounced the Orthodox world and its stifling expectations of conformity (“Orthodox Jew Barbie: comes complete with Orthodox Ken”), while Esti has remained true to her religion, though she is eager to resume her relationship with Ronit.

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The Guardian

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Disobedience by Naomi Alderman 272pp, Viking, £12.99 Hendon, unlike say, Jerusalem, has not inspired great literary endeavour.

Mar 04 2006 | Read Full Review of Disobedience: A Novel

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