Uncovered: How I Left Hasidic Life and Finally Came Home. A memoir by Leah Lax. Berkeley: She Writes Press, 2015. 348 pages. *****
Lisa seeks love, acceptance and a family by joining a group of Hasidic Jews. Immersing herself in the religion, Lisa becomes Leah and agrees to an arranged marriage with Levi. Accepting her role as a wife, mother and daughter, Leah makes a home for her family and conforms to the role of women in her chosen religion. Subjugating herself and her independence, Leah begins to question in poignant honesty her feelings, desires and marriage. Forced to pursue her passion of writing at night while her family slept, Leah finds her voice.
I was immediately drawn into this book and am awed by her honesty in describing her quest to find the love that she lacked in her family and the coldness of her husband. Leah tried so hard to be the perfect wife and mother denying her feelings and needs. A courageous tale that highlights societal issues that is not easily resolved. This is a story that could be any woman trapped in a loveless marriage who stays because of religious beliefs and the sake of the children. Leah's story needs to be read and discussed; I suggest it for a Book Club choice.
I received a print copy from BookSparks and an electronic copy from NetGalley to review.
Leah Lax's fiction and nonfiction has won awards and has been published in numerous anthologies, print and online, including Dame, Lilith, and Salon. Her work for stage has been reviewed in The New York Times and Rolling Stone magazine, and has been broadcast on NPR. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Houston.