Cut Me Loose: Sin and Salvation after My Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood

February 27, 2014
BY Rochel Ziman

022814_mishmash_bookBy Leah Vincent
Nan A. Talese, 228 pages,

“Cut Me Loose” is a memoir describing Leah Vincent’s journey of leaving strict Jewish Orthodoxy and ending up a non-Observant Harvard attendee. The book begins with her rebellious teen years
in Pittsburgh. Eventually, she is sent to Israel to study in a seminary for older girls who are finding themselves. She describes her loneliness and naivety, which cause her to attach herself to any boy who looks her way. Vincent moves to Brooklyn, working a low-end job and living in a dingy apartment. With very minimal contact with her family and no friends, she begins sleeping with a Rastafarian and turns to cutting to let out her pain. This memoir takes the reader through a painful life of abandonment and self-discovery.

I found this book to be eye-opening and raw. I felt very sad for Vincent and wished that she wouldn’t have turned toward some of the damaging behaviors she exhibited. I also wished that she would have shared more in her ending and not left the reader to wonder how she turned her life around. I recommend this book to any open-minded individual who will not judge Orthodox Judaism based on one memoir.

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