Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I've just finished reading 'Disobedience' by Naomi Alderman, helped by the fact that I had a very long wait while son 1 was in an appointment yesterday, so I could read without feeling guilty.

The reviews for this book seem to have been mixed, but it did win the Orange Award for New Writers in 2006. The story is set within the close knit Orthodox Jewish community in Hendon, North West London. Now I am not Jewish, but I have many (not so Orthodox) Jewish friends and I did spend a year living in Golders Green, just up the road from Hendon, before I was married. Golders Greeen is also a very strongly Jewish area and after a while I became used to the fact that many of the shops were closed on Saturday and that lots of the local residents were very Orthodox in their appearance and habits...Kosher shops and restaurants being the norm.

Through her bisexual heroine Ronit, who managed to escape, Naomi Alderman is critical of the insularity of Hendon's Jews. Yet at the same time she manages to show sympathy towards other main characters still caught up in the strict traditions of the community in which she herself grew up.

I loved this book.


Jan said...

I have an elderly Jewish friend who was once a Beauty editor on a top woman's magazine!
She loves hearing about new books so I shall pass this title on...
Thanks Cathy.

Flowerpot said...

Sounds a fascinating book - will make a note of it. Thanks!

Cathy said...

Jan...just make sure she is OK with stories about lesbian relationships. Woouldn't want her to be shocked!

Flowerpot...welcome. Have just been to your blog and see that you live in what was once my own part of the country.

Jan said...

Although she's elderly, she's clued up re this world of ours!
Thanks though for your careful thoughts, Cathy.