Thursday, October 29, 2015

Cut Me Loose by Leah Vincent


Oct 29,20 15 

Read in October, 2015

In the vein of Prozac Nation and Girl, Interrupted, an electrifying memoir about a young woman's promiscuous and self-destructive spiral after being cast out of her ultra-Orthodox Jewish family

Leah Vincent was born into the Yeshivish community, a fundamentalist sect of ultra-Orthodox Judaism. As the daughter of an influential rabbi, Leah and her ten siblings were raised to worship two things: God and the men who ruled their world. But the tradition-bound future Leah envisioned for herself was cut short when, at sixteen, she was caught exchanging letters with a male friend, a violation of religious law that forbids contact between members of the opposite sex. Leah's parents were unforgiving. Afraid, in part, that her behavior would affect the marriage prospects of their other children, they put her on a plane and cut off ties. Cast out in New York City, without a father or husband tethering her to the Orthodox community, Leah was unprepared to navigate the freedoms of secular life. She spent the next few years using her sexuality as a way of attracting the male approval she had been conditioned to seek out as a child, while becoming increasingly unfaithful to the religious dogma of her past. Fast-paced, mesmerizing, and brutally honest, Cut Me Loose tells the story of one woman's harrowing struggle to define herself as an individual. Through Leah's eyes, we confront not only the oppressive world of religious fundamentalism, but also the broader issues that face even the most secular young women as they grapple with sexuality and identity.

My Review:

I liked the book. It was a fast, interesting memoir of the author's life as a girl raised in an Orthodox Jewish home. I understand how she felt the need to reject the laws of her upbringing since they were very strict.
I found her to be very brave when she decided to set out and discover what it was like to live in a secular world. Her experiences were shocking and harrowing . I found this part of the book, which was a good majority of it, to be heartbreaking, too graphic and repetitive. This was the path Leah chose to follow.
I am glad the book ended on a positive note but it was too rushed and abrupt by ending in a couple of sentences. I would have liked to have seen more details about her new life. The author keeps the reader hanging as to the future of Leah's life. Too much of a cliffhanger.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Born in Fire by Nora Roberts

Oct 11, 20 15  

Three modern sisters bound by the timeless beauty of Ireland...

The eldest Concannon sister, Maggie, is a reclusive, stubborn and free-spirited glassmaker—with a heart worth winning.

Margaret Mary is a glass artist with an independent streak as fierce as her volatile temper. Hand-blowing glass is a difficult and exacting art, and while she may produce the delicate and the fragile, Maggie is a strong and opinionated woman, a Clare woman, with all the turbulence of that fascinating west country.

One man, Dublin gallery owner Rogan Sweeney, has seen the soul in Maggie’s art, and vows to help her build a career. When he comes to Maggie’s studio, her heart is inflamed by their fierce attraction—and her scarred past is slowly healed by love. Maggie is a young but lonely woman. She lost her beloved dad five years ago and her relationship with her mother is far from good. Actually, because of her mother she prefers loneliness and she doesn’t want to marry. She really doesn’t trust anyone, expect her sister Brianna who is very kind. Maggie is an artist and when in her life comes Rogan the owner of an international art gallery, many things will change in her life either she want it or not.

My Review:
I found the book to be very descriptive of the setting (Ireland) and characters. Nora Roberts has a way with words. She uses similes, metaphors and lots of adjectives. I felt like I was part of the setting and that I knew the characters.

I loved Maggie's stubborn character. She was a strong person but with a good heart even with a mother whose main purpose is to make her life a living hell but no matter what she was determined to keep her promise to her father, once he died, to care for her mother and sister.Maggie was a lonely woman because of her upbringing.I felt so sorry for her. I would be bitter if my mom treated me as evil as her mom, Maeve, did. What a horrible life to lead.She doesn’t want to marry either because she doesn't trust anyone, except her sister, Brianna, who is very kind. I certainly understood why she felt the way she did because of her evil mom.Another horrible thing to endure. I loved how her life started to change in a positive way as the story moved on even though she fought it all the way.

Parts of the book went at a slow pace. I found myself putting it down too often because of that, I gave it 3*. Even so, I will read the next book in the trilogy. I am curious to see how the characters' lives change or stay the same.