‘Unorthodox’: a heroic escape from oppression

Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic RootsUnorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Like many other readers, I discovered the existence of ‘Unorthodox’ while binge-watching the enthralling four-part series of the same name. The memoir (a truer version of the author’s experiences of growing up in and later escaping an ultra-conservative sect of Judaism) was even more shocking and engrossing than the films. Well-written but ‘raw’, the author reveals the inter-generational oppression of women within the sect through exclusion, ignorance, and difference. Her decision to escape, and then to disclose intimate details in a published piece, is nothing short of heroic. Not a literary masterpiece but a riveting read that makes me grateful for freedoms that I take for granted.

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About Debbie Terranova

Debbie Terranova is an Australian author of contemporary and historical fiction. In 2018-19, armed with a QANZAC 100 Fellowship with the State Library of Queensland, Debbie completed a 12-month research project entitled "Queensland Women and War". Prior to this she published three novels and several short stories. 'Enemies within these Shores' (2018) is based on a shocking true story which saw the detention of thousands of civilians in Australia during WWII. 'The Scarlet Key' (2016) and 'Baby Farm' (2014) are crime mysteries set in Brisbane, Australia. 'The Scarlet Key' has underlying themes of growing older outrageously and seizing control of your destiny. 'Baby Farm' reveals the shabby treatment of young unmarried mothers in the 1970s in a crime mystery that plays out forty years hence.
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