An Unorthodox Match (Hardcover)

A Novel

By Naomi Ragen

St. Martin's Press, 9781250161222, 336pp.

Publication Date: September 24, 2019

Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (9/23/2019)
CD-Audio (11/5/2019)

List Price: 27.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


An Unorthodox Match is a powerful and moving novel of faith, love, and acceptance, from author Naomi Ragen, the international bestselling author of The Devil in Jerusalem.

California girl Lola has her life all set up: business degree, handsome fiancé, fast track career, when suddenly, without warning, everything tragically implodes. After years fruitlessly searching for love, marriage, and children, she decides to take the radical step of seeking spirituality and meaning far outside the parameters of modern life in the insular, ultraorthodox enclave of Boro Park, Brooklyn. There, fate brings her to the dysfunctional home of newly-widowed Jacob, a devout Torah scholar, whose life is also in turmoil, and whose small children are aching for the kindness of a womanly touch.

While her mother direly predicts she is ruining her life, enslaving herself to a community that is a misogynistic religious cult, Lola’s heart tells her something far more complicated. But it is the shocking and unexpected messages of her new community itself which will finally force her into a deeper understanding of the real choices she now faces and which will ultimately decide her fate.

About the Author

Naomi Ragen is the author of eight novels such as The Ghost of Hannah Mendes, The Covenant, The Sisters Weiss, and The Devil in Jerusalem. Her books are international bestsellers, and her weekly email columns on life in the Middle East are read by thousands of subscribers worldwide. Ragen attended Brooklyn College and earned her master’s in English from Hebrew University. An American, she has lived in Jerusalem since 1971. She was recently voted one of the three most popular authors in Israel.

Praise For An Unorthodox Match: A Novel

Praise The Devil in Jerusalem

“Readers of Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places and Emma Donoghue’s Room will be drawn to this terrifying and compelling novel.” —Booklist (Starred Review)

“A captivating intense read … The piercing, heartbreaking story will not be forgotten quickly by the reader.” — Jerusalem Post

“Ragen writes a cautionary tale about charismatic leaders who seemingly have the innate ability to convince their followers to abandon rational thought…a mystery, with alternating chapters weaving current events together with flashbacks to show what brought the characters to this point.” —RT

“This novel is well-written and suspenseful, yet exceedingly difficult to read.” —San Diego Jewish Review

“Sharply written, educational, hard to put down and well worth reading.” —ATL Jewish Times

*Jewish Book Council Recommended Read

The Devil in Jerusalem brings intrigue, intensity and betrayal into Ragen’s portrait of how predators can turn people seeking holiness into tragic victims.” —Oregon Jewish Life

*Named Best Book of the Season by Jewish Telegraph Agency

Praise for The Sisters Weiss

“Readers familiar with Yiddish will love the wry idiom (“What else do you want already?”), but the intense personal drama will reach a wide audience across ethnicity. Returning to her community after 40 years, Rose finds that nothing has changed—neither the prejudice nor the caring love, “if you are one of them.” The oppressive traditions seem both ludicrous and cruel, yet freedom can bring its own brutality and messes. The political-activist husband fights for equality—except for his wife. The secrets hold you to the very end, when the sisters confront the universal question: Whose memory is true to what really happened?”—Booklist (starred review)
“Of the complexities embraced in this intergenerational drama, some are harsh and difficult to relate to, while others are universal. The book is unflinching and surprisingly suspenseful.”—Kirkus
“A riveting novel…Ragen is an accomplished story teller.” —the Jewish Book Council

“Like Chaim Potok, Ragen focuses on faith, family, and the desire for artistic freedom as she builds a bridge between past and present. Her clear prose allows her characters to leap from the pages and readers to sympathize with them and completely understand their motivations. By delving into the religious (Hasidic) community she exposes the sisters’ struggles between their faith and longing for the freedom to express themselves as women. This is a story many women of different faiths can connect with as they struggle to find their personal heaven.” —RT Book Reviews

“The dichotomy between filial and religious duty and the desire for independence, freedom and self-expression may be a familiar theme, but Naomi Ragen’s treatment of this subject is exceptional. In this novel, Ragen delves into the hidden world of ultra-Orthodox Judaism and its restrictions on women’s freedom…. Ragen is a skillful storyteller who draws in the readers with her beautiful and evocative prose…. Regardless of your religious affiliation, this is an utterly riveting book that should be on everyone’s ‘to read’ list this fall season.” —The Historical Novel Society