This is a wonderful book based on the author's doctoral thesis. I work with a large Hasidic community as a nurse in a hospital where they give birth. This book opened my eyes to many of the reasons for the rituals I often witness. I feel like I understand them much better after reading this book. I wish she would have followed their lives after marriage and children - I really wanted to know how the girls she profiled coped with the enormous changes that come with "arranged" marriage and birthing babies every 2 yrs on average.The other thing that should be mentioned is that the Lubavich community is just one sect of Hasidm and they are probably the most liberal from what I see.There are several other sects that are more extreme and closed to outsiders. I am going to pass this book along to my coworkers as I am sure they will find it as fascinating as I did. It benefits us all if we can understand and respect cultural differences.
From the back cover:
This absorbing ethnography acts as one subculture's corrective to 'Reviving Ophelia,' in that it offers a refreshing portrait of adolescent girls who are far from insecure. -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)