View the Table of Contents.
Read the Introduction.
"Lively tales of girls who long for the lives of male scholars,
and rebels who visit strip clubs, smoke pot, and dream of
high-powered careers."--"Books to Watch out For"
"Stephanie Levine's book is full of surprises."--"Midstream"
"A fascinating read for anyone interested in youth
"In an era seemingly plagued with sex, anorexia and depression
among our nation's girls, a page from "Mystics, Mavericks, and
Merrymakers" is a refreshing peek into the possibilities for
growth, strength and self."--"The Jewish New Weekly of Northern
"At all times, Levine's genuine respect for the community shines
through. The book is eminently readable and undoubtedly
"A vivid portrayal of the Lubavitcher community."
--" Library Journal"
"[Levine's] empathy is palpable in each one of the profiles.
Levine has a natural, artful style and writes with a lively and
"Her findings are fascinating."
"Levine treats all her subjects with respect. At the core, this
is a popularly written academic study."
"Levine vividly portrays these girls, their hopes and their
struggles, as well as her own feelings towards Orthodoxy and the
Lubavitch way of life."
--"JOFA Book Corner"
"Levine's portraits provide a cross-section of the very human
faces of these ultra-religious girls."
--"New Jersey Times"
"Stephanie Wellen Levine's suggestions are obviously heartfelt
and perhaps sensible....at turns charming and scandalous."
--"The Jerusalem Report"
"Levine takes readersinto an unfamiliar world of girls who were
raised in the Lubavitcher sect of Hasidim in Crown Heights,
Brooklyn...One intriguing paradox she explores is how these girls
created distinct personalities while living in a very closed
"Levine does a splendid job of presenting how the girls cope,
and paints vivid pictures of Shabbat around their family
--" The Jerusalem Post Literary Quarterly"
"Stephanie Wellen Levine has written an intriguing and joyous
account of the lives of young adult Hasidic women."
--" Jewish Book World"
--" Jewish Journal Book Review"
"Levine steps back and lets the girls speak for themselves;
their voices, layered with determination, yearning, confusion and
wonder, emerge clearly."
--" Na'amat Woman Book Reviews"
"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"
From the ardently religious young woman who longs for the life
of a male scholar to the young rebel who visits a strip club,
smokes pot, and agonizes over her loss of faith to the proud
Lubavitcher with a desire for a high-powered career, Stephanie
Wellen Levine provides a rare glimpse into the inner worlds and
daily lives of these Hasidic girls.
Lubavitcher Hasidim are famous for their efforts to inspire
secular Jews to become more observant and for their messianic
fervor. Strict followers of Orthodox Judaism, they maintain sharp
Levine spent a year living in the Lubavitch community of Crown
Heights, Brooklyn, participating in the rhythms of Hasidic
girlhood. Drawing on many intimate hours among Hasidim and over 30
in-depth interviews, Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers offers
rich portraits of individual Hasidic young women and how they deal
with the conflicts between the regimented society in which they
live and the pull of mainstream American life.
This superbly crafted book offers intimate stories from Hasidic
teenagers' lives, providing an intriguing twist to a universal
theme: the struggle to grow up and define who we are within the
context of culture, family, and life-driving beliefs.