Regular price: $22.46

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – love a book or swap it for free
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $16.45/month
OR
In Basket

Publisher's Summary

In a cramped synagogue in north-west London, the eminent elderly rabbi passes away. On the other side of the Atlantic, his estranged daughter, Ronit, hears of her father's death and returns to London for the funeral. She has not returned home in 15 years.

Ronit looks forward to a week or two of revisiting old friends, perhaps settling old scores. But she finds the community she grew up in a more confusing place than she'd anticipated. Particularly when she is unexpectedly reunited with Esti, her childhood sweetheart, who has taken a very different path in life....

Disobedience is a hugely enjoyable and warm-hearted portrayal of characters caught between two worlds, and a wise exploration of sexuality, tolerance and faith.

©2006 Naomi Alderman (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A bold comic touch.... Like Brick Lane, offering a glimpse of a closeted and surprisingly English nook of British society." ( Observer)
"A fresh, feisty peek at the hidden world of London’s Orthodox Jewish Community." ( The Independent)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Stephanie Qualia Gomes
  • 02-03-2017

Overall it was ok, I guess... Not really.

This story had so much potential, but unfortunately the narrative went, in my opinion as a gay woman, in a homophobic direction. That whole speech about desiring someone of the same gender is ok as as long as you don't act on it is harmful. It would have been fine it had been addressed as so, but it isn't, too many questions remained unanswered by end but that might be just me, I hope they tweak a few things in the adaptation to the big screen.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Sarella the Sphinx
  • 13-09-2017

Interesting but misguided

I found the ruminations on Orthodox Judaism insightful but I feel like the author was trying to write two books in one and the ruminating took me out of the story. Also, using homosexuality as a tool for this rumination is misguided, I understand what the author was trying to say but her attempt leads me to believe that she has no idea of how being gay actually works. It's borderline offensive.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mariel
  • 09-02-2018

loved it

Would you consider the audio edition of Disobedience to be better than the print version?

I haven't seen the print version so I wouldn't be able to tell that.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Disobedience?

Every detail about the jewish religion were my favorite parts.

Which scene was your favorite?

So many that it would be hard to tell.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I did that actually.

Any additional comments?

Didn't like the end too much, I was expecting something different but loved the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Roberta L. Ruben
  • 29-01-2018

Orthodox Jewish Women

Would you listen to Disobedience again? Why?

Yes, need to understand what the author is going through as a modern Jewish Women.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

I liked the end. It reflected how I felt as a Jewish Women in America in the 20th Century.

Have you listened to any of Rachel Atkins’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

The Hebrew pronunciation of many words was incorrect and that bothered me. If you don’t know Hebrew you would enjoy her British accent. The author is British make it more meaningful to use this narrator.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was moved by her decision about being a Jew and/or a lesbian. She is bi-sexual but explains that unlike African Americans, Jews and Lesbians can choose to ignore their differences and keep others from knowing they are different. This may cause some from feeling isolated but know one questions their behavior. One must admit to being different.

Any additional comments?

It is important to know where you come from and where you are going in America. This seems to be the message the author is communicating to all readers. Be yourself!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Beverly Korfin
  • 13-10-2017

Loved this book!

Good story with great character development. One of the best narrations I have ever heard!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Janet
  • 28-07-2017

For anyone who struggles with formal religion

3 main characters struggle with identity and desire in a close knit orthodox community. They each transition to different and yet reasonable places . The triggering event is the death of someone who was a nurturing father figure to all three. I thought the book meaningful and enjoyable

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tracy Rowan
  • 24-05-2018

More than just a love story

I love this book. I didn't expect to given the complaints I kept seeing in reviews about how it was not enough this and too much that. Yes of course I read reviews. I'm curious about what people think of things.  In this case, I believe that a lot of them were... not wrong per se, because your opinions are never wrong. But I think they were looking for something far smaller than what Alderman has given us here.

To begin, this isn't a book that is primarily about being a Jewish lesbian. It's not primarily about being Jewish or being a lesbian even though both those things are critical to understanding what's being said.  The book's theme is right there in the title, but it takes a long time, and some discomfort to understand what disobedience has to do with anything.  It's about man's (in the generic sense) relationship with God.  It's about our relationship to ourselves and how we become who we need to be.

It's the story of Ronit Krushka, the estranged daughter of an Orthodox Rabbi, who returns home from her self-imposed exile in New York after her father dies.  She plans to stay with her cousin, Dovid, unaware that he is married to Ronit's girlhood lover, Esti. I didn't like Ronit at the beginning, she seemed like a walking cliche to me. She had no use for her father, never contacted him after she left home. She has no use for the community she grew up in, for the religion in which she was raised. She self-identifies as lesbian but has an on-again, off-again affair with her (male) boss. She felt like everyone I've ever known who felt compelled to rebel as loudly and obviously as possible.

Her cousin, Dovid, seems like a non-entity. We are told right at the start that nobody in the congregation would ever think of him as the Rav, even though he's been groomed to succeed Rabbi Krushka.  His wife, Ronit's former lover Esti, is odd in a way that has already been marked by the congregation. They don't know what to make of her.  She harbors lustful thoughts for one of the teachers in her school, but never dares act on them, so we feel she is repressed. We see all of them from the outside, and it feels as if this is going to be a love story between Ronit and Esti that will scorch the earth of their carefully tended lives.

But without a lot of emotional upheaval, Alderman leads us into their minds and hearts, and we discover that none of them are who we think they are.  None of them want what we expect them to want (I think that's why a lot of people are disappointed in the book.), or react the way we expect them to react.  We come to see them as more than just their sexuality or religion, we are given relationships that are complicated and unexpected, choices that perhaps we never expected, but which feel right in the context of the book.

By the end, I'd come to like Ronit a lot, and love Esti and Dovid.  Even better, I felt hopeful that they would make the best possible decisions for themselves in the long run.  I felt comfortable with the choices they'd made, and the quiet, determined way in which they lived their lives. I felt as if they were changing the paradigm in part because they had come to understand that their god gave them the ability to be disobedient, and to question His rules.

I came to the end and there were tears.  I was surprised, yet unsurprised, and happy.  In Ronit's dream, I understood her journey and that of Esti and Dovid, and I knew they'd be all right, that they all had gained a sense of order that was meaningful to them.

I should say something about the narrator, who was very good. I've seen people complain that her Hebrew pronunciation is not the best, but I noted nothing wrong. I think it's a good production.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J. Flo
  • 24-05-2018

Beautiful and Quiet

It's beautiful. It's quiet, and emotional, and unique. I loved it. The story and performance were both amazing.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Liza
  • 16-05-2018

Movie is MUCH better

The flow of the story didn't allow for true connection between the two women. There was too much focus on insignificant details vs. spenidng more time on the relationships and tension of their attraction. It didn't need to end with everyone happy, but I felt wanting much much more.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 16-05-2018

Simply Disobedient.

Great story and voice acting. I could not put it down. An amazing view into a very different world.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lydia
  • 07-08-2017

Find another narrator

You just needed to find someone who can pronounce Hebrew words. It's not that hard, seriously. This is an old favourite book of mine and audio is a disappointment. Constantly distracted by pronunciation mistakes.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J. A. Croucher
  • 01-05-2017

Multilayered

I chose this book after hearing Naomi talking on "Only Artists" Radio 4. I like the way she expressed herself. I had to listen to the first two chapters twice to get into but it was well worth it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Rebecca Fitzpatrick
  • 05-03-2018

Disappointing ending

I'm not going to lie- the only reason I downloaded this book was purely for LGBT representation. It was a good book overall, all little slow to get going and in parts a bit boring to listen to. I think I had built up the ending a little too much, I admit, however I felt like there could have been a better one. Overall it was good, not amazing, but good. I felt that Esti and Ronnit's relationship could have been developed more. In saying that, their relationship was the only reason I was enticed to read it. For the general reader I would recommend. For folk like myself who were gagging for some representation- not worth the hype around it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • tristan
  • 19-02-2018

A Thoughtful Listen

What made the experience of listening to Disobedience the most enjoyable?

A beautiful insight into the complexities of friendship, family and love combined the demands and expectations of religion and culture.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-10-2017

Narration problems

The narrator frustratingly mispronounces so many words that it actually becomes laughable! As well as frustrating

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Debbie Epstein
  • 15-10-2017

Great book badly read

This is an excellent novel, a subtle exploration of Jewishness, orthodoxy, father-daughter relationships, sexuality and community. But it really needed to be read by someone different, who doesn’t consistently mispronounce Hebrew and Yiddish words. Even we’ll known words like Shabbat were wrongly pronounced, let alone HaShem . This was profoundly irritating throughout.