Reviews

“Tova Mirvis has already established herself as a first-rate novelist with The Ladies AuxiliaryThe Outside World, and Visible City. With The Book of Separation: A Memoir, Mirvis shifts genres, reveals some of the autobiographical germs of her fiction, and compellingly chronicles the process of separating from Orthodoxy…The respect for intra-Jewish difference that Mirvis models for her children—and for readers—is a precious gift to the Jewish literary world…Beautiful and poignant.”
Lilith Magazine

“The author’s sensitive thematic treatment of belonging and individuality and her candor about the terror she experienced leaving the only community she had ever known makes for moving, inspiring reading. A thoughtful, courageous memoir of family, religion, and self-discovery.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Mirvis intimately chronicles her divorce and her separation from modern Orthodox Judaism in this bold memoir…Hers is a story of grief and rebirth. She is compassionate and judicious in her portrayal of Orthodox Judaism, even as she describes its repressive attitudes toward women; she discusses the diverse Jewish lifestyles, from Hasidic to secular. Her personal journey makes for an introspective and fascinating story.”
Publishers Weekly

“The Book of Separation is an elegant, beautiful, carefully drawn story of love, tradition, inner conflict, and loss. This extraordinary memoir resonated with me more than I can say.”
—Dani Shapiro, bestselling author of Devotion and Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage

“To say that reading The Book of Separation made me feel less alone in the world would be a vast understatement. Tova Mirvis perfectly, beautifully, unsettlingly captures the particular horror—existential and otherwise—of dismantling a long marriage and starting one’s life anew. This is a heartbreaking, breathtaking, life-altering book.”—Joanna Rakoff, author of My Salinger Year

“In The Book of Separation, Tova Mirvis brings us into her heart-wrenching decision to leave her marriage and the world of Orthodox Judaism behind. Her exploration of faith and self are truly miraculous. This book is a wonder!”—Ann Hood, author of The Book that Matters Most

“With elegance, rare depth and unflinching honesty, Tova Mirvis offers up a chronicle of one woman’s revolution against her own life. The Book of Separation is fiercely inspiring, and illuminates the too often dormant power within all of us to live in accordance with who we truly are.”—Heidi Pitlor, author of The Daylight Marriage

“Tova Mirvis’s memoir, beautifully written and fiercely honest, is a moving reflection on what it means to take responsibility for one’s own life.  In the course of the book Mirvis takes leave of her husband, her religious community, and her inherited notions of how her life ought to go.  By staring so unflinchingly into her confusions and fears, a portrait of quiet courage slowly assembles itself, radiating insights and inspiration for all.”—Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, author of Plato at the Googleplex