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.

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