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Cut Me Loose: Sin and Salvation After My Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged

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Product Details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio; MP3 - Unabridged CD edition (January 21, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452668515
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452668512
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,330,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This is the kind of extraordinary book you'll finish in a day, and think about for months and years after." ---Koren Zailckas, bestselling author of Smashed

About the Author

Leah Vincent is a writer and activist. The first person in her family to go to college, she went on to earn a master's degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. She writes for various publications, including the Huffington Post and the Jewish Daily Forward.

Emily Durante has narrated the Midnight Twins trilogy by Jacquelyn Mitchard, Casting Off by Nicole R. Dickson, and Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypus, and directed the Earphones Award–winning performance of Heaven's Keep narrated by Buck Schirner.

More About the Author

The first person in her family to go to college, Leah Vincent earned a BA in psychology as a night student on a Presidential Scholarship at Brooklyn College and a Master's in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School as a Pforzheimer Fellow. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, Unpious, ZEEK, the Daily Beast and the Jewish Daily Forward. Named one of the Jewish Week's 2014 36 Under 36, Leah is a frequent public speaker, a co-producer of the It Gets Besser project, a member and board member of Footsteps, and the producer of a number of experiments and projects that grapple with challenges in both the ultra-Orthodox community and wider Jewish culture.

Customer Reviews

Couldn't put it down, read it in one sitting.
D. Lininger
This is a beautifully written book by a truly skilled writer.
L. Wick
I feel I must stand up for the truth as I see it.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

166 of 181 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After reading the negative reviews, I had to read this book and judge for myself. I am in general reluctant to share details of my own life online, but the misrepresentations of Ms Vincent as a liar and even that she is mentally unstable (from one reviewer who claims to know her family) are without foundation. I feel I must stand up for the truth as I see it. And Ms Vincent speaks the truth.

I read the entire book in a single sitting - it is extremely well-written and it is fascinating, helping the reader understand the thinking of someone who has lost their family and identity undertaking self-destructive behaviours. It became very painful to read - especially how she was taken advantage of by men and had no idea how to interact with them - because it is a deeply authentic account.

How do I know? Because I had the same Yeshivish upbringing as Leah's. Everything from the small details and philosophy of her upbringing is true. There is no embellishment.

With the important qualifier that in every community there is variation and that not all families are like Leah's, the fact is that many are. So while Leah's upbringing does not tar the entire ultra Orthodox community, it is also a valid account of her own experience for her own family and life, and her experience is representative of many ultra Orthodox people's experiences.

Many ultra-Orthodox Jewish parents would have reacted with shunning at a female teenager's natural baby steps toward developing their own identity, like asserting things like wanting to go to college, and wearing a tight sweater. The slightest deviation from draconian modesty rules can make a girl the equivalent of a prostitute in this black and white world where there is only one path to God.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
On the surface, this book is a memoir of a girl being raised in what some would refer to as an "ultra-orthodox" or Yeshivish community. While proclaiming she wants to keep her family anonymous, for those in the Jewish community, she certainly gives enough details in the book to deduce the identity of her family (or anybody good enough with Google who isn't Jewish). The surprising part of the story for many is that she is not writing of an insular community like Boro Park or New Square, but rather growing up in what the outside world might call a more modern seeming yeshivish family. According to the book, when she is caught writing letters to a boy, her parents take her out of high school to enroll her in a seminary for older women who are learning about their religion. She gets no high school education, and is then left on her own in New York with a child's understanding of the world. Leah writes with a raw and vivid style that is certainly compelling and will keep you drawn into the narrative. I read from start to finish and could not put it down. That being said, it was not the greatest work of its genre as I will explain.

First, I was confused in comparing the book as written to her TV interviews. Some of the incidents from her Jamaican drug-dealer boyfriend to her encounter on CraigsList are described quite differently in the book than she describes them on TV. In her interviews she says she was abandoned by her parents, but the book describes them setting her up with a job in New York. Some of this might just be sensationalism for TV, so I won't fault it only in that I was confused while reading the book which incidents matched with the ones I heard her describe before.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Rena on May 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is a difficult review since I grew up in Pittsburgh and know some of the author's family. (The author doesn't use real names, by the way.) I went to school with her oldest two sisters, one was in the grade above me and the other was one grade below me. Since it was a small private school at that time (one building for preschool to high school), we knew everyone in the grades nearest us and the oldest sister even was in some of my classes. The author's oldest brother was in my brother's class and he was at our house a lot before he left town for high school. These kids I knew personally and they were generally quiet, but not in a shy way. They were well-behaved and polite. I can't speak about the author, since when I knew her she was a little kid and once I got older, I didn't know the kids in the younger grades so much.

Anyway, I guess I read this book out of curiosity, because I thought the story can't be that bad. Well, it was, and it's such a sad story. Some people are extremely sensitive to certain textures (can't tolerate labels in clothes, find certain fabrics too scratchy) or to sounds, etc. They are labelled as having "sensory" issues -- they feel too much. I think there are those who have the same thing, but in an emotional aspect -- so that things that you may not think are a big deal end up being a big deal for another person. I'm not saying this as a bad thing, just that people are different. Maybe they would be musicians or poets, for example. The author grew up in a home with 12 kids which is so difficult. Raising just 2 kids is hard, can you imagine 12? Yikes! The parents did what they thought was best, but with so many kids, it can be hard to give attention to the ones that need it most.
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