In our modern, diverse culture, we often say that love is love is love. But we sometimes forget that there parts of this world where being who you are and having an open relationship with the one you love is not always easy or accepted.
In the 2006 book, Disobedience, by Naomi Alderman, Ronit left her insular Orthodox Jewish London community as a young woman. She has recently returned because of her father’s passing. But returning to the community that she once called home is not easy. Her cousin Dovid married their friend Esti. There are whispers around the community that Dovid is to take his uncle’s place as Rav. While Ronit is wrestling with her past and the death of her father, Dovid is thinking about his future. Esti is trying to be a good wife, as per the laws of Orthodox Judaism. But she is also in the closet and remembering her relationship with Ronit when they were girls.
Before I go any further with my review, I have to admit that I saw the movie before I read the book. That being said, seeing the movie gave me a new perspective on the book. While the movie is told from third person POV, the narrative in the book is told from a first person POV, jumping from Dovid to Ronit to Esti. While it’s not a clear-cut case of the book being better than the movie, I just feel like the narrative in the movie was cleaner and more powerful than the narrative in the book.
Do I recommend it? I’m leaning toward yes.