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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by Eliette Abecassis
Age Range: 14+
Sacred is the heart-breaking story of Rachel and her husband, Nathan, who live within the Jewish Hassidic community in the old part of the city of Jerusalem. After ten years of a loving relationship without children, Rachel’s husband is forced by custom to reject her and to take another wife who will give him children. Forbidden to live any sort of life outside the confines of the community and their strict religious laws, Rachel secretly discovers the true reason why the couple cannot have children. She loves her husband passionately and doesn’t want to lose him but does she dare tell him the truth?
This powerful, moving and turbulent novel is written in a simple and poetic style. It poignantly highlights the conditions placed upon women living in a community governed by religious law. Rachel’s husband divorces her because he is incapable of rebelling against the habits of his culture, and in doing so, paves the way for the final tragedy.