Author: Eishes Chayil
Published: September 14, 2010 from Walker Books
My edition/number of pages: ARC/340
Age group: Young adult
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.
Hush is unlike anything I have ever read. I hadn’t heard much about it before reading it so I didn’t really know what I was getting into. It was such an honest and real book.
Gittel has never known anything other than her life and her community. She has never had any reason to doubt that what she knows is right. All that changes when she learns about the abuse of her best friend Devory. Instead of being able to open up about what happened, Gittel is forced to remain silent and try to forget about what she knows. It seems to work for a while but as Gittel grows older she begins to realize that she doesn’t know as much about her faith as she always thought. As she digs deeper into the mysteries of right and wrong, Gittel faces the choice of sticking to the rules or sticking up for her dead best friend.
From the very beginning I knew that Hush was going to be a difficult book to read, not because of the writing but because of the subject matter. Any book that deals with abuse is hard but this one was so much worse. There was nothing left out of Hush. It’s a completely honest telling about the Chassidish lives. Obviously it’s not all bad but Eishes Chayil was not willing to leave anything out. It was an eye-opening book. It was a bit hard to get into in the beginning but it’s one that I am glad to have read.
Gittel was not your typical main character for so many reasons. The problems that she faced were real and something that she couldn’t escape. She had to go against her whole community to do what she believed was the right thing. She is one of the most courageous girls that I have ever read about. Unlike somebody battling a werewolf or a demon, hers is a story of something that actually happens every day. If you want to be inspired by a character from a book, this is definitely the girl you should choose. There were a couple other characters in the book that I really liked but none stood out as much as Gittel. Her father was a good man and Yankel grew on me but they didn’t have as much of an impact.
Overall, Hush is not your typical young adult book but one that I recommend because of that. It’s definitely one for older teens because of the harsh subject matter but if you think you can handle that, then you should read it. There should be more books like Hush out there.
First line: Devory?
Now for the giveaway:
-One reader will win a copy of Hush.
-You must fill out the form.
-You must have a US mailing address.
-This giveaway will end on September 29.