I Am Forbidden | Penguin Random House Canada
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I Am Forbidden

Publisher: Anchor Canada
The extraordinary story of a sister who believes and a sister who rebels, set inside the most insular Hasidic sect, the Satmar.
     Spanning four generations, from pre-World War II Transylvania to 1960s Paris to contemporary New York, Markovits's masterful novel shows what happens when unwavering love and unyielding law clash--a rabbi will save himself while his followers perish; a Gentile maid will be commanded to give up the boy she rescued because he is not of her faith; two devoted sisters will be forced apart when one begins to question their religion's ancient doctrine. One sister embraces and finds comfort in the constraints of the world she's always known, while the other knows she will suffocate in a life without intellectual freedom. Separated by the rules of their community, the two sisters are brought together again when a family secret threatens to make pariahs of them all. Dark, powerful, and utterly compelling, I Am Forbidden takes us inside the minds of those who leave their restrictive environments and deeply into the souls of those who struggle to stay.

PRAISE FOR

“Markovits makes her stamp on the literary world with an ambitious, religiously-centered debut. This ambitious, revelatory novel richly rewards your efforts and heralds a promising new writer.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Anouk Markovits’s I Am Forbidden contrasts the fates of a Hasidic family’s two daughters, one who breaks with tradition to pursue a life of intellectual and emotional freedom, the other who cleaves to convention only to find her childless marriage is leading her to consider a course of action that falls well outside her religious beliefs.”
─Megan O’Grady, Vogue
 
“[A] story of miraculous happenings…Tracing the Stern family from Transylvania to Paris and Brooklyn, [Markovits] focuses on daughter Atara and adopted daughter Mila, closer than close, until Atara wants more than the Satmar world can offer. Markovits plays fair: the believers are not stupid; their harsh world has beauty. We dwellers in the modern world know what “should” happen, but Markovits shows why, for those in the other world, it’s not that simple.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
A lyrical novel about obedience, rebellion and tragedy by an author who grew up in the Hasidic community she writes about.”
Huffington Post