Blog Tour & Giveaway: I Am Forbidden by Anouk Markovits

“A family is torn apart by fierce belief and private longing in this unprecedented journey deep inside the most insular sect of Hasidic Jews, the Satmar.
Opening in 1939 Transylvania, five-year-old Josef witnesses the murder of his family by the Romanian Iron Guard and is rescued by a Christian maid to be raised as her own son. Five years later, Josef rescues a young girl, Mila, after her parents are killed while running to meet the Rebbe they hoped would save them. Josef helps Mila reach Zalman Stern, a leader in the Satmar community, in whose home Mila is raised as a sister to Zalman’s daughter, Atara. With the rise of communism in central Europe, the family moves to Paris, to the Marais, where Zalman tries to raise his children apart from the city in which they live. Mila’s faith intensifies, while her beloved sister Atara discovers a world of books and learning that she cannot ignore.”

I Am Forbidden is a journey through the lives of four generations of a Samtar family, a religious sect known for its extreme insularity and un-ending desire for privacy. Personally I have never encountered their existence in fictional literature quite like what Anouk Markovits has created. Her unique view of their world shines through every page as she draws on even the most minute of details from both her childhood and young adulthood growing up within the sect and her thorough research, which is apparent throughout the novel.  She truly brings you into a community that most individuals will probably never know exists and especially never be able to experience.

The novel spans decades and yet it has a never ceasing elegant flow to it’s travel through time as she explores each generation and their lives including both their joys and sorrows including their most trying times and horrific experiences. While often heartbreaking the novel is a testament to the never-ending ebb and flow of life even among those individuals who have in many ways withdrawn from modern society for their sacred religious beliefs.

As I read in many ways it reminded me of a past read Hidden Wives by Claire Avery which introduced readers to the world of a modern day Utah polygamist community.  If you like one you may want to check out the other. Both offer fantastic insights into world’s that exist almost invisibly around us although with very unique voices and different writing styles.

TLC Book Giveaway

Ready to delve into a past and culture that is most probably completely new to you? Thanks to the folks at TLC Book Tours Stiletto Storytime is excited to  to be able to give a copy of I Am Forbidden to one reader. Giveaway ends at midnight EST on  June 23, 2012. US/Canada address only please. The winner will be chosen by random number generator and contacted by e-mail. To enter just comment below. Good Luck to all and Happy Reading!

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Be/Become a Follower of TLC Book Tours on Twitter

“Like” TLC Book Tours on Facebook

Tweet or Blog about this Giveaway (Please leave link in comments)


Filed under Adult Books, Blog Tour, Contests, New Books

16 responses to “Blog Tour & Giveaway: I Am Forbidden by Anouk Markovits

  1. It is fascinating the way a culture like this can exist so close to us and we can be unaware. This book sounds fantastic. I’d love to be entered in your giveaway!

    I subscribe to your blog via RSS feed.
    I follow you on Twiter.

  2. carlrscott

    This sounds like a very intense book about a very private, almost secretive, culture. I’d be pleased to win a copy of I Am Forbidden, thanks for offering it.

    I am a Follower of Stiletto Storytime by email: carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

    I am a Follower of Stiletto Storytime on Twitter: @carlrscott

    I am a Follower of TLC Book Tours on Twitter: @carlrscott

    I Like TLC Book Tours on Facebook: Carl Scott

    I Tweeted about this Giveaway:


  3. Marjorie Roy

    This book is on my wish list and I would love to read it.
    I follow by email.
    I follow TLC on facebook.

  4. Reading the synopsis made me shudder…a five year old already witnessing the murder of his family? I can’t imagine the trauma..
    And the secrets of another culture so near…yet completely unknown to me. I am loving the suspense already!
    Thank you for the opportunity to score a copy!

    Followed of Stiletto Storytime on wordpress as circustoybox (

    Followed of Stiletto Storytime on Twitter as @lilboxism

    Followed TLC Book Tours on Twitter as @lilboxism

    Liked TLC Book Tours on Facebook as Lilian Cheng
    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

  5. debbie

    This sounds like an interesting book. I have always been hearing about religous sects that are closed off to the rest of the world.

  6. This book sounds so good. Thanks for the chance. I’m a follower. I also follow on twitter @amandawk.

  7. Hira Hasnain (Enamored Soul)

    This book first caught my eye because of the starkness of its cover. For some reason, I just had to pick it up. When I read the synopsis, I absolutely knew I had to read this book. Now, this post makes me want to read it that much more. Thank you, also, for the suggestion of “Hidden Wives” by Claire Avery – it’s going on my to-reads list too. I love reading these books because almost always they speak of a the resilience of women, or about the mettle of a character, plus, I’m always interested in finding more and more about cultures and communities that I may not know very much about.

    Thank you so much for this giveaway, and for being part of the tour. You bring us some of the best books (in my humble opinion!).

    +1 I Follow Stiletto Storytime by Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
    +1 I am a Twitter Follower: @inluvwithbookz
    +1 I Follow TLC Book Tours on Twitter: @inluvwithbookz
    +1 I “Like” TLC Book Tours on Facebook: Hira Hasnain

    • stilettostorytime

      Thanks Hira…your compliment means a lot because I know what an avid reader and book blog explorer you are!

  8. This just sounds so different than anything I have read before, and the fact that it is historical fiction makes me want to read it even more! Thanks for the giveaway!

    +1. I am a follower of Stiletto Storytime (
    +1. I follower TLC Book Tours on Facebook (Colleen Turner).

  9. Margaret

    This definitely sounds interesting.
    -blog follower
    -follow SS on twitter
    -follow TLC BT on twitter
    -liked TLC BT on fb
    -tweeted giveaway Margaret ‏@LiteraryChanteu


  10. Pingback: TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS for June 16th – 24th | TLC Book Tours

  11. Pingback: Anouk Markovits, author of I Am Forbidden, on tour May 2012 | TLC Book Tours

  12. I’m looking forward to learning about this insular community – it sounds like a very different kind of life!

    Thanks for being on the tour.

  13. stilettostorytime

    Drum Roll please…our winner for their very own copy of “I Am Forbidden” is BermudaOnion! Way to go….I just know you will love it and give it a good home. As to everyone who entered keep a watch out for more great giveaways this summer and thanks for visiting Stiletto Storytime!

  14. Holy cow! The book just came! Thanks so much, Courtney!

  15. Pingback: “I Am Forbidden” by Anouk Markovits | Melody & Words

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