Monday, September 20, 2010

Hush by Eishes Chayil

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary

Release Date: 9/14/2010

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About the Book: (From Goodreads) 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.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Hush is a powerfully haunting book. The author is writing under a pseudonym and by writing this book is giving a voice to all those who have remained silent, and with Hush I believe she does.

The book flashes back and forth between the past and present for the first half, which works really well. You get to understand Gittel and how much keeping silent has tortured her which really makes the reader feel for her and with her. I felt Gittel’s pain and while I might not like that she’s remained silent for years, because there are glimpses into her past and her life in Borough Park, in some ways I understood why. I think that’s what makes this book stand out. We are seeing the Chassidim and Borough Park through Gittel’s eyes and we get to experience their way of life, as different as it may be from our own.

Normally I like a lot of dialogue in my books, and while Hush has dialogue, it’s much more of a narrative. And while that isn’t my usual style and I get irritated and flip to where there’s more dialogue, Hush is written in a way that pulls you in and it’s hard to put it down. Once I finished I couldn’t stop thinking about it-like Gittel, I was haunted by the story.

Yes, it’s heartbreaking, but also has moments of humor and is not just a book about religion and abuse, but is a coming of age story about a girl who starts to question what she’s known. Hush is a must read book of 2010 and a book that readers won’t soon forget.

Book Pairings: The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Want to win a copy of Hush? Fill out the form below. Contest is for 13+, ends September 30

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from ARC sent by publisher for Blog Tour


  1. I've been thinking about it over and over, too. When I began it, I didn't quite see the power. Stepping back now a couple weeks later, it's still there.

    Great review.

  2. Excellent contest and book sounds great! Coming at a wonderful time too.

  3. Wow, that sounds amazing! I'll have to try it.

  4. Everyone is raving about this book. And given all the fuss about Speak lately, I bet this book will get banned too. Makes me want to read it even more.
    Alison Can Read

  5. Thanks for the review! We've posted a link to your blog on the official Bloomsbury Teens Facebook page:

  6. This sounds really interesting. I've always been interested in Hasidim and Orthodox Jews (I know I'm a bit older than your target audience) and have read most of Chaim Potok's works and various other authors. I was disapointed when I found out my local library doesn't have it. If I win the contest I think I'll donate it after I read it.

  7. Thanks for the giveaway. The books sounds sad but interesting.

  8. Actually, most of their rules were not written thousands of years ago, but have evolved over time. The latest rules (pertaining specifically to only few Chassidic sects) are most extreme and aimed to completely segregate them from the outside world.

    Great review. Excellent book.


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