Book Review: Abomination


Melbourne 1999: Ezra and Yonatan are best friends whose lives are forever changed when their school, the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Yahel Academy, is rocked by a scandal, and they are thrown onto divergent paths. Twenty years later, the lives of the two men are very different: Ezra identifies as secular and atheist, while Yonatan has been ordained as a rabbi and teaches at the academy. By chance, they are reunited, and the events of their past and present collide with devastating consequences.


Abomination tells the story of two best friends- Ezra and Yonatan (once as thick as thieves) at the ultra-Orthodox Yahel Academy. An unfortunate event of sexual assault against one of their schoolteachers pulls them apart as Ezra gets enrolled in a different school. But twenty years later, the same fateful incident also becomes the very reason for the great reunion of these adults. 

Brushing its chapters with the dual-time narrative, this book explores family, friendship, identity, faith, breakdowns, empathy, and understanding of Jewish ideals (that are not often discussed).

Abomination is a book that takes on a number of challenging themes. Ashley has tackled these varied issues with great insight and sensitivity as a first-time author. His narration of the orthodox community is highlighted with compassion (also disenchantment). His real creativity flashes through his casting of two extreme opposite characters, who, as we go along in the book, contribute to the message he wished to convey- the paths we are placed on, the paths we take, and how we are all just trying to make our way through the world.

There were times when I was in complete agreement and understanding of the two characters featured in Goldberg’s novel. I could also see some shades of Ezra in the people around me- grappling through life to find a direction and identification. 

With succinct chapters that allow the pages of this novel to flow by themselves, Abomination is a quick-paced read. Book your reading spot with Ashley Goldberg’s engaging debut novel Abomination today!

Abomination was published on 3rd May 2022 by Penguin Books Australia. You can purchase the book here.

AuthorAshley Goldberg
PublisherPenguin Books Australia
List Price32.99 AUD

To read our interview with the author Ashley Goldberg, click here