How I Left Hasidic Life and Finally Came Home

by Leah Lax

She Writes Press, 2015. ISBN 978-1-631-52995-5.
Reviewed by Debra Winegarten
Posted on 10/05/2015
Review of the Month, October 2015

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Faith/Spirituality/Inspiration; Nonfiction: Creative Life

Uncovered: How I left Hasidic Life and Finally Came Home is a riveting tale of Leah Lax's journey into an ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect, marriage, family, and the acknowledgment after years of soul-searching and angst that she is a lesbian. As a Jewish lesbian myself, I couldn't wait to go along with her story.

What I didn't expect to discover was that she had grown up in Dallas, as I had, and we both attended the same synagogue, although she's a few years older than me and I didn't know her. But the familiarity of the story permeated throughout. This book was a fascinating glimpse into the world of modern-day Hasidism through Leah's eyes. Once I started the book, I couldn't wait to carve out time to get back, as the tale was riveting and the writing masterful. I found myself talking to her as I read, urging her to make different decisions and to come to terms with who she really is. As the story built towards the climax, I found myself wanting to read the sequel, to find out what happens to her, her children, and her husband.

Read this book, you won't be disappointed. I was sorry to reach the end.

Leah Lax was raised in a Jewish family in Dallas, Texas, close to her immigrant grandparents, so that, growing up, she learned both to crochet and ride a horse. Then she joined the Lubavitcher Hasidim and spent thirty years among them trying to reclaim the roots her family had left behind. Now on the other side of all that and grateful for second chances, she has published award-winning fiction, nonfiction and prose poetry. Her work for stage includes major productions with both the Houston Grand Opera and the Houston Symphony. Visit her website.

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