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Disobedience

by Naomi Alderman

A very accessible insight into Jewish Orthodox culture in Britain. Ronit, the Rabbi's daughter returns home from New York following her father's death and experiences conflicting emotions as she is caught between her secular lifestyle and the religious community of her childhood. An interesting, intriguing and informative read.

Extract

I looked down at Dovid, crumpled awkwardly on the bedroom floor, one leg painfully folded underneath him. His face was blue-white. His lips were grey. From the bed, I couldn't see if he was breathing. I looked back at Esti, clasping the telephone.
'What are you talking about?'
'It's happened before. It's a private thing. No need for doctors.'
Her eyes were large, her hair straggly around her shoulders. The skin of her stomach was rippled, folded over itself. My eyes were opened and I saw that we were naked.
I said, 'We should put some clothes on. I'll help you get him into bed.'
We dressed in silence, not looking at each other. I couldn't find my tights, but I didn't feel like scouting around under the bed for them. A present for them to find another day. He looked more peaceful there. He was breathing after all and looked a little less grey-faced.
I suppose it was for the best we didn't go to a hospital really. How would I have explained my presence? Are you his sister? Well, no, I'm his wife's lover. Do you think if I stick around long enough I can finish him off?

Parallels

The Ladies' Auxiliary by Tova Mirvis
The Romance Reader by Pearl Abraham
 

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