Becoming Eve: My Journey from Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgender Woman – by Abby Chava Stein – independent book review

Who could fail to be intrigued by the title of this book? Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite deliver on its promise. Awarded three stars on Goodreads.

becoming_eveYes, it is a first person account of a dedicated, bright, ultra-orthodox student, studying to be a rabbi, who knows inside that HE is really meant to be a SHE. But it’s NOT so much about inner turmoil as it is about student disruption in school — a way for an unhappy boy to act out. The book is much more about his world of study, gender roles, and traditional rules of Hasidic Judaism than it is about being transgender.

You’ll find much more focus on and information about the differences between Hasidic sects and “royalty”, their educational options, social and religious rituals, and marriage rites than on their internal conflict. And at the point where the author decides to finally “come out” to friends and family, it’s covered quite quickly and in less detail and depth than I expected.

Author Abby Chava Stein Image from Wikipedia

The book is also not particularly well-written. Granted the author has had a limited educational experience in English and is only now in college. But I would have expected an editor to have helped add more polish.

On the plus side, if you’re interested in the subject matter, it’s a relatively short book.

More about the author.