The Book of Separation
The memoir of a woman who leaves her faith and her marriage and sets out to navigate the terrifying, liberating terrain of a newly mapless world.Born and raised in a tight-knit Orthodox Jewish family, Tova Mirvis committed herself to observing the rules and rituals prescribed by this way of life. After all, to observe was to be accepted and to be accepted was to be loved. She married a man from within the fold and quickly began a family. But over the years, her doubts became noisier than her faith, and at age forty she could no longer breathe in what had become a suffocating existence. Even though it would mean the loss of her friends, her community, and possibly even her family, Tova decides to leave her husband and her faith. After years of trying to silence the voice inside her that said she did not agree, did not fit in, did not believe, she strikes out on her own to discover what she does believe and who she really is. This will mean forging a new way of life not just for herself, but for her children, who are struggling with what the divorce and her new status as “not Orthodox” means for them.This is a memoir about what it means to decide to heed your inner compass at long last. To free the part of yourself that has been suppressed, even if it means walking away from the only life you’ve ever known. Honest and courageous, Tova takes us through her first year outside her marriage and community as she learns to silence her fears and seek adventure on her own path to happiness.

The Book of Separation Details

TitleThe Book of Separation
Author
ReleaseSep 19th, 2017
PublisherHoughton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN-139780544520523
Rating
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Religion, Theology, Biography

The Book of Separation Review

  • Elyse
    January 1, 1970
    Ultra-Orthodox Jewish women -Hasidic women - belong to sectarian communities, worshipping and working as followers of specific rebbes-they are set apart from assimilated, mainstream Jews.Here in America....In 2017....this is a lifestyle choice that many men and women follow. Hasidism -( a word Tova Mirvis doesn’t use in her memoir yet is the Hebrew word for Ultra-Orthodox Judaism)......or Orthodoxy....is a radical movement of Judaism which reaches back as far as the 18th century. The emphasis is Ultra-Orthodox Jewish women -Hasidic women - belong to sectarian communities, worshipping and working as followers of specific rebbes-they are set apart from assimilated, mainstream Jews.Here in America....In 2017....this is a lifestyle choice that many men and women follow. Hasidism -( a word Tova Mirvis doesn’t use in her memoir yet is the Hebrew word for Ultra-Orthodox Judaism)......or Orthodoxy....is a radical movement of Judaism which reaches back as far as the 18th century. The emphasis is on religious education for boys... yet for women and girls, the expectations for women are ‘still’ different. There have been changes through the years — yet there are male and female differences even today. In the early years women were not expected to move past basic literacy. Only in the 20th century, when it became clear young Hasidic women were hungry to pursue advance education- did we begin to see respected female ultra Orthodox Jewish Scholars—which incidentally paralleled feminist movements. Tova Mirvis was raised - from childhood in an Ultra-Orthodox Family. She ‘was’ educated - attended Columbia College University and received an MFA in fiction writing. She lived in Canada for awhile — but has been living in the United States for many years ( more years than I realized: her entire marriage of 17 years to Aaron as an Hasidic married woman)Today Tova — no longer practices the observances of Orthodoxy. THIS BOOK IS TOVA’S STORY. I found it ABSOLUTELY FASCINATING- DISCUSSION FASCINATING!! SO NOW I’m going to SHARE..... my little book report ... ha! (may the Bone God’s forgive me and do their density building in spite of me sitting too much and not keeping my retirement word from writing long reviews).... but I can’t stop thinking about this book yet .... so I’m writing this for my need of completion! Here is what is UNUSUAL—� Yet.... not the first time I’ve seen a late bloomer speak out. Usually by the time most of us are young adults - in our 20’s - we know if we are Gay or Straight - we know if we have a strong religious belief or not —� ( ok not always) - but gut red flags begin to speak to a person if something is not right - which they did for Tova before she married Aaron. She married young - in her 20’s - had not dated Aaron very long - and had little experience with dating period. But she and Aaron were fighting before the wedding about ‘value differences’ .... the signs were there. My husband and I knew a couple years ago that was married for 15 years with 3 kids. Then one day - the woman says, “I can’t be married any longer, I’m Gay”. The woman says - she always knew. The signs were there. Tova, 40 years old, was married for 17 years — also with 3 children: Noam 11.....Josh 7.....Layla 3. It took those 17 years to be clear about the divorce. Why does it take so many years for a person to allow themselves to live a life that’s most honest with who they are?What stops us from listening to our inner voice of truth?Why do we feel a strong pull to live a life filled with expectations and should’s? Why do we assign ourselves obligations.....even silly things ... none of which place ourselves as #1. These were all questions I thought about when reading Tova’s memoir. I don’t share the same specific issues that Tova went through....(I adore my marriage to Paul of almost 39 years)...I’m kinda a relaxed Jew too....follow few rules - and love our reform synagogue with a female Rabbi and female Cantor. “ Shir Hadash” - ( which means New Song)...where I attend ... is a happy thriving bustling place - lots of music - social action groups - freedom of thought. .......BUT.... I never once felt Tova was alone. I know what it feels like to doubt my inner voice - I know about choosing what I think I should do even if suppressed. TOVA didn’t hear her inner voice strong enough when she got married. She loved her husband Aaron in the beginning - but fought often with him. She followed the rules of what she felt was expected of her. She stayed married doing what was expected of her for those 17 years with inner conflict going on. Getting a divorce when you are a FEMALE ORTHODOX JEW, initiating it, is complicated. It would be much easier if the man initiated it. Tova had to be “released” ....from the house of her husband by the Rabbi. —�Ancient words - but for Tova - the freedom they promised seemed radical. ‘Some’ of the rules Tova had to observe as an Ultra-Orthodox Jew....( she didn’t need to believe in them - but she did need to observe them)....were as followed:.....As a Jewish wife - she was the backbone of the Jewish home. She would cook, bake, and raise the kids with great love. .....Her clothing was to be modest.... usually skirts - no pants - ( although she sometimes did) - and must cover her hair ( in the synagogue she always did... but broke the rule other times). .....During services the men and women sat on different sides — separated by the mechitzah (a partition). .....Even the two children ages Noam and Nosh we’re expected to sit for five hours long during Rosh Hashanah services. The younger child Layla went into the children’s nursery. I laughed ...because Tova did as women do while sitting in services all day.....I include myself. Instead of focusing on praying, and reciting prayers, she surveyed the dresses of those around her and especially the outlandish ones. ANOTHER RULE: .....One of the Jewish Laws that Tova followed throughout her marriage was The Mikeh. Tova would go to the Mikeh (purified bath water) - for ritual purity AND each month after menstruation or after childbirth in order to become ritually pure and permitted to resume sexual activity. In the United States most Jewish women have not observed the laws menstrual purity any longer — but as an ultra-Orthodox Jew ... Tova did. There are many other rules about meals - keeping Kosher - Shabbat - changing of dish racks - holiday’s - ( large and small), reciting blessings, etc. Tovah did a beautiful job sharing about many of the rituals - some of them she enjoyed - not everything was bleak. Building a Sukkah (a temporary hut that is half shelter that is half exposed) was fun to build and decorate with her children - then eat a meal in the Sukkah after making it. Towards the end of Tova’s marriage, she began compartmentalizing what she would observe and what she wouldn’t. She would keep kosher, observe Shabbat, go to the Mikvah..... but she no longer would study Jewish texts. She also stopped praying every morning, and would not go to the synagogue every week. Once Tova got a divorce— even the year before — things became very confusing for the children. Religious differences become very challenging to navigate the children especially when increasingly estranged. Little Layla would ask things like “is tonight going to be a mommy Shabbat?” Josh her youngest son- was already sick of being Jewish even before the divorce and wanted to eat pizza and play basketball on Friday nights. Noam wore his yarmulke on his head everywhere he went and felt strong about continuing his religious observances. What scared Tova was how religion might possibly divide she and her son. There have been stories about children who would not eat in their parents house any longer. I thought it was beautiful the way Tova was handling the open flow of communication- free speech - respect - listening - and supporting each other’s needs without giving up thyself. Tova would support Noam- and keep a Kosher kitchen — he could feel safe to eat in her home. When Tova did not have the children - she didn’t need to observe Shabbat if she didn’t want to. She could go anywhere - do what she wanted. AT LEAST TOVA NEVER HAD THIS HAPPEN:THERE HAVE BEEN CASES WHERE WOMEN IN AN ULTRA-ORTHODOX ENCLAVE HAVE LOST COSTODY OF HER KIDS. THE CHILDREN ARE PURPOSELY ALIENATED FROM THE PARENT WHO NO LONGER IS RELIGIOUS. —� Community members hire lawyers on behalf of the still orthodox spouse, claiming they are merely acting in the best interest of the kids.When reading this book - there was no question for me how incredibly courageous I thought Tova was. There were so many things she said — so many STEPS ALONG THE WAY POINTING TO *JUST HOW HARD LEAVING WAS. Given her situation- she did the VERY BEST SHE COULD. “Others might have illusion that you could run free, but born to this, you always knew where the electrified boundary lay”. “ in all my years fantasizing about leaving, I hadn’t understood that you could remain stuck inside. You can partake in the pleasures, but you might never enjoy them”. As long as this review is..... I *DIDN’T* GIVE MAJOR SPOILERS AWAY. I didn’t share WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE DIVORCE... And how people in her Orthodoxy community responded to her once they knew about the divorce. I’ll end with an e.e. cummings quote which I love and reminds me of Tova“To be nobody-but yourself-in a world which is doing its best, night and day,to make you everybody else-means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
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  • Booksandchinooks (Laurie)
    January 1, 1970
    When I first heard about this book I contacted the author about receiving an ARC for review, which she kindly sent. All opinions are my own. I always find it fascinating to learn about other people's religion and belief systems and I love books about family so the premise of this book intrigued me. This book is a memoir written by Tova Mirvis. Tova was raised in the Orthodox Jewish faith. I didn't know too much about this faith before this book, but was interested in learning more about it. This When I first heard about this book I contacted the author about receiving an ARC for review, which she kindly sent. All opinions are my own. I always find it fascinating to learn about other people's religion and belief systems and I love books about family so the premise of this book intrigued me. This book is a memoir written by Tova Mirvis. Tova was raised in the Orthodox Jewish faith. I didn't know too much about this faith before this book, but was interested in learning more about it. This is not a religion where you go to church on Sunday and you have done your part. This is a very intense religion and you live your life completely within it. I wasn't aware of this but quite often you actually also live in close proximity of each other. There are many celebrations and rituals that are maintained on a daily basis. As Tova reached her 20's she started to question some of her beliefs. She becomes engaged and marries young as even more doubts start to creep in. Her husband was, of course raised within the same religion which he fully embraces. They go on to have three children and Tova's doubts start to impact her marriage. As she struggles to decide what she really believes and how she wants to live her life she comes to the conclusion she needs to leave the faith that has embodied her whole life and to leave her marriage. It is always heart wrenching in a divorce for everyone involved because all roles change. She now only gets to see her children half the time and also, how does she now raise them. They have grown up in the faith that she no longer believes in or observes. I found this very interesting because of the complexities here. This book is very well written and the author really bares her soul.
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  • SundayAtDusk
    January 1, 1970
    Having read a few other books about women leaving Orthodox Judaism, I knew I would breeze through this one, since I find the topic so interesting. The fact Tova Mirvis also appeared to be emotionally intelligent, unlike another author or two, also convinced me I was on my way through her story at top-notch speed. Things don’t always happen as predicted, though, and about one-fourth of the way through her memoir I realized something--I was bored. What other books did I have to read? Maybe I could Having read a few other books about women leaving Orthodox Judaism, I knew I would breeze through this one, since I find the topic so interesting. The fact Tova Mirvis also appeared to be emotionally intelligent, unlike another author or two, also convinced me I was on my way through her story at top-notch speed. Things don’t always happen as predicted, though, and about one-fourth of the way through her memoir I realized something--I was bored. What other books did I have to read? Maybe I could come back to this book later, or read it in an alternating fashion with another book.What was wrong? Ms. Mirvis’ story just started seeming tedious. Was she going to continue going on and on about all the little things she was worried about until the end of the book? Of course, since Orthodox Judaism is concerned about so many “little” things in life, one could not blame the author for dwelling on so many “little” things; but still not all readers are going to be, nor should they be, understanding about tediousness. It was too much like having to read every little thought in an author’s head, not a good thing for either nonfiction or fiction books. Then, however, the story seemed to start gaining momentum. For me, it was when Ms. Mirvis started talking about her engagement and getting married. Moreover, later on in the story, when she actually stood up to a group of rabbis and told them how she so disliked having to worry about everything she wrote, and so disliked having to worry about being judged all the time about everything, the memoir became a totally worthwhile read in my eyes.Hence, the memoir gets five stars, even though parts of it were truly tedious. For ultimately, it was truly interesting to see how the author gave up obedience to father figures, as she had been taught as a child, and tried to navigate a world where those father figures no longer controlled or influenced everything in her life or in her mind. Nothing whatsoever against father figures, mind you, but if you don’t ever truly start thinking for yourself, do you ever truly emotionally grow up? Kudos to Tova Morvis for having the courage to change her life to how she felt she should live her life; and for doing so without throwing Orthodox Judaism under the bus. Furthermore, kudos to her relatives, friends, acquaintances and all others in the Orthodox Jewish community who did not treat her like a persona non grata, when she decided she could no longer live in their world, but could only visit.(Note: I received a free ARC of this book from Amazon Vine.)
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  • Just Another Fangirl
    January 1, 1970
    As a big fan of Tova's The Ladies Auxiliary and The Outside World, I was looking forward to reading Tova's memoir. However, I barely made it 50 pages in before abandoning the book -- I found the writing so heavy-handed, it definitely didn't read effortless. And some of the turns of phrase just made me roll my eyes. "Early one morning, I'd waited in line to have my bag x-rayed by security before I entered the courthouse, but that seemed pointless; the whole building could have been brought down b As a big fan of Tova's The Ladies Auxiliary and The Outside World, I was looking forward to reading Tova's memoir. However, I barely made it 50 pages in before abandoning the book -- I found the writing so heavy-handed, it definitely didn't read effortless. And some of the turns of phrase just made me roll my eyes. "Early one morning, I'd waited in line to have my bag x-rayed by security before I entered the courthouse, but that seemed pointless; the whole building could have been brought down by all the explosive anger inside..." page 25 Maybe not all essays should be expanded into a book. All Who Go Do Not Return: A Memoir is SO MUCH better.Thanks to the publisher for sending me an advance copy of the book.
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  • Kathy
    January 1, 1970
    I received a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.Two and a half stars.Tirvis' story of leaving her religious community and her marriage is, at heart, a compelling one, and I found myself drawn into the complexities of her life in the initial chapters of the book. As the book progressed, though, there seemed to be a lack of cohesion and organization that resulted in me losing interest in her story. At times, she begins sharing a memory, segues into another story, and then abruptly shifts I received a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.Two and a half stars.Tirvis' story of leaving her religious community and her marriage is, at heart, a compelling one, and I found myself drawn into the complexities of her life in the initial chapters of the book. As the book progressed, though, there seemed to be a lack of cohesion and organization that resulted in me losing interest in her story. At times, she begins sharing a memory, segues into another story, and then abruptly shifts back to her original train of thought. I was often left flipping pages to remind myself what her original train of thought had been. There is a stream of consciousness approach to the memoir that I didn't connect with. Readers hoping to relate to her marital issues may also be disappointed that she never shares anything of depth beyond their differing religious viewpoints; most marital issues aren't explored but shared in the vaguest of terms (i.e. that they fought a lot, that they "wanted different things.") The book summary also implies a sacrifice of family and friends, but other than some rude acquaintances who shun her upon her leaving their Orthodox community, she seems to leave with overall great support in her life (happily for Tirvis, but the book description does not feel like an apt one). There are also too many metaphors for Tirvis' growing independence - while they were charming at first, I grew tired of reading stories of her driving, going out alone, biking, or hiking as metaphors for her life in general. Still, there is an inspiring story at the heart of this book, though I wish the book had been edited and organized in a way to better deliver this story.
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  • Jess
    January 1, 1970
    Rarely do I encounter a memoir that I earmark to re-read again in the future, yet The Book of Separation is that one. With beautiful prose that long-time fans will recognize from her fictional works, Mirvis unravels the threads of her marriage and her faith. It's a story of losing one's religion in order to be free, but it's also a story of Mirvis leaving her marriage to live more truthfully.What I loved about this book is that it does not rely on saccharine language or self-deprecation in her s Rarely do I encounter a memoir that I earmark to re-read again in the future, yet The Book of Separation is that one. With beautiful prose that long-time fans will recognize from her fictional works, Mirvis unravels the threads of her marriage and her faith. It's a story of losing one's religion in order to be free, but it's also a story of Mirvis leaving her marriage to live more truthfully.What I loved about this book is that it does not rely on saccharine language or self-deprecation in her self-discovery. Her concerns seem real and tangible, even for those of us in young marriages or happy ones. There are revelations that any of us can recognize in ourselves.I received a galley of this book from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt via NetGalley to read and review. This has not impacted my thoughts or opinions about this book.
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  • Tracy
    January 1, 1970
    The Book of Separation is a heart wrenching memoir. Mirvis is simultaneously separating from her husband and her religion. She poignantly describes those that supported her and those that shunned her. Her beautiful writing makes this memoir meaningful for the reader and difficult to put down. Mirvis recounts the changes she made in her life and the impact they had on her children and other loved ones. This memoir is one of both struggle and hope. Mirvis is a fantastic writer and a very strong an The Book of Separation is a heart wrenching memoir. Mirvis is simultaneously separating from her husband and her religion. She poignantly describes those that supported her and those that shunned her. Her beautiful writing makes this memoir meaningful for the reader and difficult to put down. Mirvis recounts the changes she made in her life and the impact they had on her children and other loved ones. This memoir is one of both struggle and hope. Mirvis is a fantastic writer and a very strong and thoughtful person.
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  • Elizabeth Olesh
    January 1, 1970
    In this lyrical memoir, Mirvis (The Ladies Auxiliary) explores her decision to leave the religion in which she was raised and married, Orthodox Judaism.
  • Jill Meyer
    January 1, 1970
    Written on the back of the readers' copy of novelist Tova Mirvis memoir, "The Book of Separation", is the description, "The memoir of a woman who leaves her marriage and her faith and sets out to navigate the terrifying, liberating terrain of a new mapless world". Okay, but here's the thing, Tova Mirvis didn't leave her faith; she moved from Modern Orthodox Judaism to a less strict observing of Judaism. The difference between apostasy and a down-grading in Jewish observance is a big one.Tova Mir Written on the back of the readers' copy of novelist Tova Mirvis memoir, "The Book of Separation", is the description, "The memoir of a woman who leaves her marriage and her faith and sets out to navigate the terrifying, liberating terrain of a new mapless world". Okay, but here's the thing, Tova Mirvis didn't leave her faith; she moved from Modern Orthodox Judaism to a less strict observing of Judaism. The difference between apostasy and a down-grading in Jewish observance is a big one.Tova Mirvis is the author of three novels, which explore women and their relationships to family and faith. In this memoir, Mirvis explores the same subject, but uses herself and family as subjects. Mirvis, raised in Memphis in a Modern Orthodox family and neighborhood. She went to religious schools and college and spent a gap year in Israel. She also married at the age of 23 to a young lawyer, who came from the same background. But from the first, Tova had doubts about her fiance and coming marriage. Tova began having thoughts about her practice of Judaism and gradually turned against the strictures and restrictions of both the religious practices and the community she and her family lived in outside Boston. And as the years passed, she and her husband raised three children, while growing apart as a married couple. Mirvis's memoir is an interesting look at her own life and how she made the changes she recognised she needed to do. I do think the book is a bit too long; at 300 pages, it could be 50 or so pages shorter. But it's a personal look at what many women have gone through in the past 30 years.
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  • Janilyn Kocher
    January 1, 1970
    The Book of Separation is the story of Tova Mirvis' choices at a critical juncture in her life. Murvis practiced and adhered to the strictures of Orthodox Judaism. She waxed and waned with her faith until she had to make changes in her life concerning her marriage and her orthodoxy. The reader is given a gleaning to the many rules of her faith. I'm intrigued by Orthodox Judaism but could never conform to its rigidity. Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy.
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  • BOOKLOVER10
    January 1, 1970
    Tova Mirvis bares her soul in "A Book of Separation," in which she recalls her Modern Orthodox upbringing in Memphis; her sixteen-year marriage to Aaron, with whom she had three children; and her decision at the age of forty to leave not only her husband, but also traditional Judaism. Tova, (a name that in Hebrew means "good"), is a novelist who married too young and too hastily, before she and Aaron really knew who they were and what they wanted. Although they stayed together for a long time an Tova Mirvis bares her soul in "A Book of Separation," in which she recalls her Modern Orthodox upbringing in Memphis; her sixteen-year marriage to Aaron, with whom she had three children; and her decision at the age of forty to leave not only her husband, but also traditional Judaism. Tova, (a name that in Hebrew means "good"), is a novelist who married too young and too hastily, before she and Aaron really knew who they were and what they wanted. Although they stayed together for a long time and were grateful to have two beautiful sons and a daughter, Aaron and Tova gradually drifted apart and began quarreling. Tova had hinted now and then that she was no longer comfortable with the rituals that defined their existence, but Aaron was still shocked when she asked for a divorce.Mirvis's writing is exceptional. She creates poetic images and vivid metaphors, and in heartfelt passages, shares her feelings of pain, guilt, and loss. The author does not single out religion as the sole source of her discontent. In fact, she acknowledges that Orthodox Judaism is, for many individuals (including Tova's Chasidic brother), a beautiful and fulfilling way of life that helps bring harmony, peace, and joy to its adherents. Nor does she blame her husband for her woes. Instead, after much soul-searching, she realized that her insular community was slowly suffocating her. She was no longer content to go through the motions of pretending to be happy."The Book of Separation" is a poignant and, in many ways, sad description of the dissolution of a long marriage, made all the more difficult because three children were involved. Tova and Aaron consulted lawyers and therapists before splitting up their property, settling on a joint custody agreement, and making the transition from a couple to single parents. This memoir is a rich tapestry that flashes back to Tova's childhood, education, early years with Aaron, and her excitement and pleasure at becoming a mother and a novelist. Finally, she finds the courage to express her misgivings to her husband, parents, and friends. Eventually, she forges a new path, and takes her first tentative steps into uncharted territory.
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  • Ilana
    January 1, 1970
    When the Jewish divorce is pronounced, the Biblical term for the get document given to the woman is sefer kritut, in translation, the book of termination or the book of separation. In her memoir, Tova Mirvis retraces her journey from the moment when her separation process started - not only from her husband, but from her Orthodox life - until she climbs her own mountain and tries to set up her free life, the original version of herself. 'After years if trying to silence the voice inside her that When the Jewish divorce is pronounced, the Biblical term for the get document given to the woman is sefer kritut, in translation, the book of termination or the book of separation. In her memoir, Tova Mirvis retraces her journey from the moment when her separation process started - not only from her husband, but from her Orthodox life - until she climbs her own mountain and tries to set up her free life, the original version of herself. 'After years if trying to silence the voice inside her that she did not agree, did not fit in, did not believe, she strikes out on her own, to discover what she does believe and who she really is'. I've previously read and reviewed another book by Tova Mirvis and liked both the approach and the writing. Her memoir to be released in a couple of months, flows beautifully, streaming through the various tensed and even anxious life moments, while trying to put herself and the scattered fragments of her life together. After 17 years of marriage and three children, the lines between herself and the community, the path of the tradition and her own path are blurred and where other could easily find comfort and peace she is tormented by questions. Her incessant questioning marks her progressive taking off, starting from getting away from the community pressure - 'we were taught, we were told, we were watched' -, following her voice as a writer, ending up her own struggles with observance and reconciling her old and new ways with her new situation as a divorced woman partly in charge with the education of her children, with a father remaining Orthodox. Sometimes, making choices is much easier although painful and difficult, than being accepted for what your choices made of you. I loved everything about this book, but especially the honesty and the genuine way she opens her heart. Is that kind of book that I would not have anything against reading twice.Disclaimer: Book offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
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  • Larry
    January 1, 1970
    From Mendel the mouse to an NCSY kumsitz, from yeshiva-in-Israel conviction to post-Orthodox, post-marriage, post-community reinvention, Tova Mirvis captures what it means to be a modern Orthodox Jew, walking the tightrope that doesn't always hold.
  • Brian
    January 1, 1970
    Tova Mirvis lived most of her life as an Orthodox Jew. She kept the traditions and the dutiful life that a woman of this faith lives but she feels like she doesn't really belong. One day she decides to divorce her husband and begin her life anew. This is her story. I learned a great deal about Orthodox Judaism from reading this memoir. The author is a very good writer and uses good language and imagery. My complaint about this book was that it felt like it took me a very very very long time to r Tova Mirvis lived most of her life as an Orthodox Jew. She kept the traditions and the dutiful life that a woman of this faith lives but she feels like she doesn't really belong. One day she decides to divorce her husband and begin her life anew. This is her story. I learned a great deal about Orthodox Judaism from reading this memoir. The author is a very good writer and uses good language and imagery. My complaint about this book was that it felt like it took me a very very very long time to read it and that I had made no progress. After finishing it, I appreciate the author's story, but I wish it hadn't felt so draggy at times.
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    Tova Mirvis was brought up in the Orthodox Jewish tradition, marries an Orthodox man after knowing him for 12 weeks, and realizes after 16 years of marriage that she is looking for more that the tightly-knit community offers to a woman. This memoir follows her journey through her marriage, her life as an Orthodox wife and mother, and her divorce. This insightful book is a pleasure to read, both for the way it is written and for the glimpse into a world few of us will know.
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  • Laurie
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked Tova's story of her divorce and choice to separate from Orthodoxy. Although a "Jewish story " the themes of not fitting in with a community and not believing are universal as are her observations on how family members can be different yet accepting.
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  • Eliana
    January 1, 1970
    I appreciated her message but it felt a bit repetitive.
  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    The writing is wonderful, much improved from her previous work. I could relate to everything in this book - regarding religion. So well done.
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