I Am Forbidden
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A family is torn apart by fierce belief and private longing in this unprecedented journey deep inside the most insular Hasidic sect, the Satmar.
Sweeping from the Central European countryside just before World War II to Paris to contemporary Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I Am Forbidden brings to life four generations of one Satmar family.
Opening in 1939 Transylvania, five-year-old Josef witnesses the murder of his family by the Romanian Iron Guard and is rescued by a Gentile maid to be raised as her own son. Five years later, Josef rescues a young girl, Mila, after her parents are killed while running to meet the Rebbe they hoped would save them. Josef helps Mila reach Zalman Stern, a leader in the Satmar community, in whose home Mila is raised as a sister to Zalman’s daughter, Atara. As the two girls mature, Mila’s faith intensifies, while her beloved sister Atara discovers a world of books and learning that she cannot ignore. With the rise of communism in central Europe, the family moves to Paris, to the Marais, where Zalman tries to raise his children apart from the city in which they live.
When the two girls come of age, Mila marries within the faith, while Atara continues to question fundamentalist doctrine. The different choices the two sisters makes force them apart until a dangerous secret threatens to banish them from the only community they’ve ever known.
A beautifully crafted, emotionally gripping story of what happens when unwavering love, unyielding law, and centuries of tradition collide, I Am Forbidden announces the arrival of an extraordinarily gifted new voice and opens a startling window on a world long closed to most of us, until now.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
Gorgeous and poetic
I couldn't stop reading this book. The author's voice is poetic and lyrical and she truly shows what it means to devote yourself to faith so completely that it can ultimately destroy you. I didn't want it to end.
Missing pages??? Repeat pages???
I think the book is ok, but what's most frustrating us that there are several pages that repeat over and over. Pages are also missing in this as well. The download is missing pages!!!
I Am Forbidden
In a quest to better understand issues of the Middle East, Jews in Israel, I took on reading this novel for insight. Markovits provides a backdrop for understanding religion binds us, yet guides us. I am very happy for the discovery of this book and highly recommend it.