Monday, September 27, 2010

Hush by Eishes Chayil

Title: Hush
Author: Eishes Chayil
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Rating: 9/10
Inside 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.

My Thoughts: Hush is a completely original, completely heart-breaking novel. I praise the author for writing such an eye-opening novel.

The beginning of Hush is a little slow and confusing at first, though mostly because I wasn't sure what some of the words meant. But once the story picks up, it's impossible to put down.

It was heartbreaking to read about the guilt and silence that the main character endured and it sickens me to think the people reacted the way they did. Some of the things they're taught about the non-Jews are so unfamiliar to me and it's hard to believe that people really believe those things and also kind of sad. The narrator is so honest and raw about telling everything that it's really hard to put the book down.

Overall, I highly highly recommend Hush!

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