Friday, July 10, 2009

Naomi Alderman: DISOBEDIENCE

Naomi Alderman
239 pages
Berliner Taschenbuch Verlag
ISBN: 978-3-8333-0552-8

Note: This is the ISBN for my German copy. But if you want to buy it, you can click on the cover. It – as usually – leads you right to where you can order it.

In her first novel, Naomi Alderman introduces us to Ronit, the daughter of a Rabbi in Hendon near London. Ronit grew up in an Orthodox Jewish community and lived the life until she did the unspeakable. She fell in love with a girl.

As soon as she could, she left the community and moved to New York to lead a life free of worries about other people’s thoughts. She attended university and became a successful career woman, but when she receives the news that her father died, she has to go back to Hendon, to her past. There, she sees Esti again, her first love, and soon realizes that the past is not yet completely the past...

Deservingly winning the Orange Award for New Authors, Alderman created characters that come to life on the pages. She shows what life in an Orthodox Jewish community is like. As a counterpart to Ronit, who left the community to lead the life she wishes to live, Alderman created Ronit’s first love, Esti. Esti stayed in the community and now leads a life that conforms to the rules of the community.

At the latest while reading this novel, it becomes clear that Naomi Alderman knows what she is writing about. She grew up in an Orthodox Jewish household and it shows in her use of terms. With this German copy, the publisher unfortunately didn’t think of adding a glossary for those who would like to check back about these terms, but with the internet, it is easy to find a definition for a term that might not be as easy to understand, for example at Judaism 101.

For an article on Naomi Alderman and her father, Geoffrey Alderman, check out this page.

Rating: 4.5/5


  1. This sounds like an interesting story. Thanks for the review.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  2. Anna, my pleasure! Please let me know if you're going to read it :-)