THE BOOK OF SEPARATION
By Tova Mirvis
302 pp. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. $26.
A review written by By TALIA LAVIN
DEC. 22, 2017
Modern Orthodox Judaism — a loosely defined sect that adheres to the strictures of Jewish Scripture, while engaging with the broader world, intellectually and economically — has always been something of a paradox: It embraces modernity and, at the same time, lives by the dictums of an ancient system. Tova Mirvis’s memoir, “The Book of Separation,” chronicles this paradox, and many others, in an intimate tale of leaving a community that served as the literary inspiration for her first two novels, and the bulwark of her life.
Mirvis’s story is less stark than recent memoirs of leaving ultra-Orthodox sects; Modern Orthodoxy, by definition, allows more mingling with the outside world. Nonetheless, her narrative is one of deep heartache, both in the predeparture attempt to quiet her own objections to the faith, and in the self-willed abandonment of certainty that departure requires.
A review in Goodreads : The Book of Separation: A Memoir by Tova Mirvis