Evanston Library Book Review: ‘I Am Forbidden’ by Anouk Markovits

If you are ready to die for your religious beliefs, does that make you a righteous person? Are you qualified to teach others your beliefs and judge their actions against yours? In the ultra-orthodox Hasidic communities after World War II, the imperative to “Be fruitful and multiply” took on a powerful urgency.  If a young woman had thoughts of a life or education beyond the traditional, to act upon it meant she was dead to her family and friends.  Mila was nourished by the community in which she lived, Atara suffocated by it.  Each one, full of love and longing, had to choose what she wanted to be; neither’s choice was neat. The repercussions may be felt for generations.  (Nancy Engel)

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