More than just a book
Readers share how Uncovered affected their lives in these heartfelt and inspiring letters.
I am in tears after finishing Uncovered. Leah, it is stunning. You wrote your story honestly, compassionately, and skillfully. It is a grand accomplishment. You are rightfully proud and—may I say this?—somewhere far beyond all earthly pain, I feel your mother must surely be cartwheeling with pride. Even, and also, your Daddy too. You have, indeed, transcended that past and come home at last to open arms. But now your home is so much larger than the walls of your current home and those long-gone ones in Dallas. Now home is the world. You have thrown open other doors and shown other women, wherever they may be, covered still and huddled with their secrets, there is another way. Now they share your house. You spoke your truth. You split the world open.
I am in Telluride, Colorado where I have just spent the last few hours in The High Alpine Cafe finishing Leah Lax’s newly published memoirUncovered: How I Left Hasidic Life and Finally Came Home*. I am blown away. This a brave, beautifully written, life-saving work which is dedicated to “covered women everywhere” but resonated deeply with me as an uncovered woman whose voice has sometimes been silenced in other ways. I just loved it, and hope it reaches the wide audience it deserves.
I mostly read on a Kindle these days, but when I pre-ordered it the book was only available in a high quality trade paperback version by She Writes Press. As I read it over these last couple of days, I was approached by several passersby by who upon seeing the gorgeous cover design (and observing me engrossed in the book) asked to write down the title and author. The book is now available for Kindle (8/28) but I am glad that I was able to help spread the word with my hard copy. Bravo, Leah–and thank you for sharing your story with us!
Your book arrived today! The writing is very beautiful, even poetic, but I can see that it will be very hard to read. I had not relived my orthodox wedding until I read your wedding account. Mine was at my parents’ house in an upscale neighborhood in Fort Worth. Though it wasn’t Hassidic, there are many parallels and I’ll have to pace myself through the book because I can’t read it dispassionately.
I cannot put it down. I find it very moving and brave. Thank you for speaking your truth and sharing your story. I used to walk to the Hasidic rabbi’s house when I was in high school even though I was artsy/feminist/liberal. I was inspired by certain aspects of their philosophy, especially the holiness & spirituality I felt absent from my home and our synagogue.I used to “dabble” with the idea of joining the Hasidim, but it never stuck due to my competing inner voice. In many ways however, the guilt and the “shoulds” did stick inside my mind. The image of you on your knees scraping the oven for Passover is another reminder that I would not have been able to endure Hasidic demands on a woman.
I woke up distressed after spending more time with your book than I should have before the holidays. I owe you an apology. Love your neighbor as yourself. You were my neighbor back then and I knew nothing about you, certainly I didn’t know your anything about your difficult day-to-day existence. You wouldn’t have told me of course but it’s nonetheless painful to know you were physically so close and I was so distant.
Rabbi Debbie, California
Your book arrived Wednesday and I finished it last night. What an incredible memoir! Terrific writing, generous, heartfelt. Bold and sensitive. I could go on and on. After I finished it, the word “individuation” came to my mind. Jung’s concept of personal growth/development as becoming more and more ourselves, our true selves. I know your book is going to get a lot of praise, and you deserve every bit of it! Congratulations, and much continued success in your writing career!