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Publisher's Summary

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 40 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.

©2017 Tova Mirvis (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So many parallels

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a Mormon. I have recently decided to step away from the church. As I listened to the words read by Tova I was struck by how many similarities there are between her experience and mine. different religions, different rituals, different customs yet so many of her words hit home to my heart.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Simply amazing!!!

This book was fantastic start to finish! I cannot say enough how incredible Tova mirvis is as an author, and in this case, as a narrator. This was the 1st of her books that I have read, and it is her story 1st and foremost. The audible performance is simply incredible to listen to, and as you listen you are drawn in not just by the words that are narrated but by the over all Passion with which she tells her story. You're brought into a world that you may not know anything about to start with, as I was, having had little experience in my own personal life. I had family who were Jewish but by the time I came along, those family members were either about to pass on or had already passed on. Therefore, I didn't have the opportunity to learn about the Jewish heritage in my family. I heard stories growing up from my mother, but as she was not practicing in the faith, nor were her parents and siblings, all they were to me were stories of my great grandparents and their beliefs. I never got to hear them firsthand. Listening to this book transforms a story that I had simply heard over the years as I grew up into so much more for me. I learned more about the faith, practices, and this author's struggle When she chose to no longer remain orthodox. The way in which she tells her story you feel like you are right there with her every step of the way, and for me at least, feeling much of what she felt just in listening to her tell her story in her own words.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Good book

A good read; however, she is too simplistic about her assessment of Orthodox Jews and Judaism.
Personally, I don’t think she was ever really into it
Also, she now claims everything is so great.
Let’s see what she says in ten years.
She’ll probably be divorced again- and never happy.
Too bad for Toba.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Terrible narration. Good story.

It is generally ideal for the author to narrate her own book....unless she is terrible at it. Then it pays to get a professional.

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this book could have ended in 7 chapters.

pros: view of modern orthodox Judaism in many variations and the challenges facing both women and men.

cons: so many cathartic moments that they eventually felt snooze-worthy. oh she realizes that marriage at 23 was a mistake. "yup." she sees her sister get married and wishes she could talk to her 23 y.o. self. "yup." she throws the ring she's worn since 23y.o. in a lake (quote: "the water will know what to do with it. " "yup."

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Terrible book

Riva sounds like a whiny child throughout the entire book. It doesn’t help that she is reading it. I found it painful to listen to. I’m planning on returning it.

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An honest memoir

I liked the honesty and insight into orthodox belief . I was raised reformed Jewish and never knew much about Orthodox Judaism .

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  • SG
  • 02-04-18

Tova's Writing Skill Shines <br />with Happy Ending

Tova is a Modern Orthodox Jewish woman married at 22 to observant young husband who is satisfied with following the intricate rules of their religion. Tova questions their religious practices, many of which are sexist & burdensome for wives, and she pulls away as her career as novelist & writer begins to take off. She describes her emotional struggle to separate from her religious husband but maintain her relationship with her 3 kids, each of whom have different perspectives on their religious practices. Tova is a woman of privilege so her journey to leave Orthodoxy is more of a social change, her former community rejects her but she shares her kids with ex-husband & finds a new non-religious husband even as she divorces the first one. Her description of the divorce process both from husband & community is well-written. Her life as religious wife has changed, she grew up & out & finds happiness in her new world of independence & choice. Sympathy comes from her emotional path but she's ok financially, romantically & professionally. Interesting to learn about the restrictive Orthodox practices that seem so archaic & abusive to me as a non-religious Jew.