Book Review: Shmutz

Slowly, Raizl is peering outside her Brooklyn Hasidic community. She has a job and is taking college courses, which means she has access to a computer. This portal to the secular world opened her eyes to porn…and now she can’t stop watching. She sneaks the dirty videos as the rest of her house sleeps and as her nights grow longer, her days begin to unravel. She struggles to find balance between her self-discovery and familial responsibilities, not least of which includes finding a husband.

I loved watching Raizl attempt to settle between the modern and ultra-traditional worlds. Most of us don’t live behind such high walls, but many of us have dealt with the frustration that comes with being sheltered and feeling of being boxed-in. Though she’s immersed in dirt, Raizl’s heart seems pure.

5 out of 5 stars.

Pair with: Cabernet franc