Author: Eishes Chayil
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 14, 2010
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.A richly detailed and nuanced book, one of both humor and depth, understanding and horror, this story explains a complex world that remains an echo of its past, and illuminates the conflict between yesterday's traditions and today's reality.
Hush is an extremely controversial book that touches on sexual abuse and religious interference. In the Chassidic community, Gittel finds out that her best friend has been sexually abused by her own family. Hush delves deeper into the issue of religious traditions and walks the fine line of the Chassidic community, where many rules are enforced; some reasonable, and some that are not.
Even though I've never been in the position of Gittel, I was able to relate to her feelings and self-contradictions. When she sees her best friend molested by her older brother, I was shocked and appalled that a community would let this happen, just like she was. I found Gittel to be an extremely strong protagonist in Hush. Hush spotlights the scandalous traditions of the Chassidic community and emanates a strong vibe of inescapable rules and regulations.
Hush is a powerful novel that spotlights the very blasphemous controversial topic of sexual abuse in communities.