In 2009, having just turned twenty three years old, Deborah Feldman walked away from her insular Hasidic roots. She was determined to forge a better life for herself and her son, away from the rampant oppression, abuse, and isolation of her Satmar upbringing in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Out of her experience came the incendiary, bestselling memoir Unorthodox.
And now, just a few years later, Feldman has embarked on a triumphant journey of self-discovery—a journey in which she begins her life anew as a single mother, an independent woman, and a religious refugee.
Taking her cues from favorite childhood books read in secret, as well as some of the modern classics, Feldman explores the United States, from San Francisco to Chicago, New Orleans, and the Southwest. In her travels, and at home, Feldman redefines her own sense of identity—while no longer Orthodox, she comes to terms with her own Jewishness only by discovering a world of like-minded outcasts committed to self-acceptance and healing. Inwardly, Feldman has navigated remarkable experiences: raising her son in the “real” world, finding solace and solitude in her writing career, and her search for love. Culminating in an unforgettable trip across Europe to retrace her grandmother’s experience during the Holocaust, Exodus is a deeply moving exploration of the mysterious bonds that tie us to family and religion, the bonds we must sometimes break to find our true selves. Feldman proves herself again to be a captivating storyteller, and her singular life has been an inspiration to readers everywhere.
Kirkus calls Exodus captivating, entertaining, and informative, providing readers with an honest assessment of the strength of one's convictions and the effect a strict religious background can have on a person. Exodus is an enthralling account of how one Orthodox Jewish woman turned her back on her religion and found genuineness and validity in her new life.
Listen to Deborah talk about Exodus on The Moth