- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher:Walker Childrens; Reprint edition (February 28, 2012)
- ISBN-10: 0802723322
- Author: Eishes Chayil
- Cover art: I really like it, I love the words across the face.
- Obtained: My personal library
- Overall rating: **** out of 5 stars
Hush by Eishes Chayil
Reviewed by Moirae the fates book reviews
nside the closed community of Borough Park, where most Chassidim live, the rules of life are very clear, determined by an ancient script written thousands of years before down to the last detail—and abuse has never been a part of it. But when thirteen-year-old Gittel learns of the abuse her best friend has suffered at the hands of her own family member, the adults in her community try to persuade Gittel, and themselves, that nothing happened. Forced to remain silent, Gittel begins to question everything she was raised to believe.
A richly detailed and nuanced book, one of both humor and depth, understanding and horror, this story explains a complex world that remains an echo of its past, and illuminates the conflict between yesterday's traditions and today's reality. (Synopsis provided by goodreads)
I went into this book not knowing what to expect. There are a lot of Yiddish words in the book, if you are unfamiliar with Yiddish, there is a glossary in the back. I live in an Orthodox community, but like a character in the book, I am not Jewish. I have helped some of the people in the community on Shabbos when they are not able to do certain things, such as reset clocks, turn off the oven, turn lights on and off. So I am familiar with a lot of the customs in the book but not all. I have heard a lot of the Yiddish terms in this book just living around those in the community that use them.
I do believe that the author is an Orthodox Jewish woman.
A lot of people are shocked with how the community views outsiders, being around it, I thought that the book seemed to dramatize it, I have felt unwelcome at times when I help the community when some of the members find out I am not Jewish they distance themselves, but I understand that, as I do not hold the same views and customs as they do. It could be that each community is a bit different I don't know.
The story it's self was a hard one. The topic of abuse and the type of abuse in this book is very difficult to handle.
The style of the story can throw some people off I believe. It goes back and forth with Gittel being 8 years old and Gittle being 18 and her going through the process of finding a husband. In her community it seems to be a type of arranged marriage.
My one big issue with the book is how it ends. I felt that it was too neat. Without giving anything away it felt like the issue the book dealt with was fix too easily.
If you want to "look into another world" this book may be for you.
So say we all!