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Sotah
by Naomi Ragen


Overview -

Beautiful, fragile Dina Reich, a young woman in Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox haredi enclave, stands accused of the community's most unforgivable sin: adultery. Raised with her sisters to be an obedient daughter and a dutiful wife, Dina secretly yearned for the knowledge, romance, and excitement that she knew her circumscribed life would never satisfy.  Read more...


 
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More About Sotah by Naomi Ragen
 
 
 
Overview

Beautiful, fragile Dina Reich, a young woman in Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox haredi enclave, stands accused of the community's most unforgivable sin: adultery. Raised with her sisters to be an obedient daughter and a dutiful wife, Dina secretly yearned for the knowledge, romance, and excitement that she knew her circumscribed life would never satisfy. When her first romance is tragically thwarted, she willingly enters into an arranged marriage with a loving but painfully quiet man. Dina's deeply repressed passions become impossible to ignore, finding a dangerous outlet in a sudden and intense obsession with a married man, with terrible consequences. Exiled to New York City, Dina meets Joan, a modern secular woman who challenges all she knows of the world and herself.

Set against the exotic backdrop of Jerusalem's glistening white stones and ancient rituals, "Sotah" is a contemporary story of the struggle to reconcile tradition with freedom, and faith with love.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780312570248
  • ISBN-10: 0312570244
  • Publisher: Griffin
  • Publish Date: September 2009
  • Page Count: 490
  • Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Jewish
Books > Fiction > Contemporary Women

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 33.
  • Review Date: 2009-07-13
  • Reviewer: Staff

In Ragen's latest look at the women of Israel's Orthodox communities (after Jephte's Daughter), a rabbi's daughters deal with love and the fallout of adultery. The story begins as three sisters reach marrying age with limited options due to family finances and the inherited disgrace of an adulterous ancestor. The eldest at 20, Dvorah dutifully accepts the hand of a man who is “short and overweight and slurps his soup.” Meanwhile, independent-minded youngest sister Chaya Leah meets secretly with a Hasid (improper marriage material) about to enter the Israeli army. The saddest of the three, middle child Dina, must give up her first love and marry instead a laconic woodcarver. Eventually, unfulfilled emotional needs and a lecherous neighbor drive her to sin; after the Morals Patrol catches up with her, she's exiled to New York. Detailed descriptions of weddings and sexual politics offer much insight, showing both the strength and limits of the Orthodox code of conduct. The pleasures of Ragen's book arise not so much from her characters or plot but from thought-provoking comparisons of Israeli Orthodox and American Jewish life. (Sept.)

 
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