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Leaving the Witness
Leaving the Witness: Exiting a Religion and Finding a Life | Amber Scorah
14 posts | 13 read | 1 reading | 9 to read
A riveting memoir of losing faith and finding freedom while a covert missionary in one of the world's most restrictive countries. A third-generation Jehovah's Witness, Amber Scorah had devoted her life to sounding God's warning of impending Armageddon. She volunteered to take the message to China, where the preaching she did was illegal and could result in her expulsion or worse. Here, she had some distance from her community for the first time. Immersion in a foreign language and culture--and a whole new way of thinking--turned her world upside down, and eventually led her to lose all that she had been sure was true. As a proselytizer in Shanghai, using fake names and secret codes to evade the authorities' notice, Scorah discreetly looked for targets in public parks and stores. To support herself, she found work at a Chinese language learning podcast, hiding her real purpose from her coworkers. Now with a creative outlet, getting to know worldly people for the first time, she began to understand that there were other ways of seeing the world and living a fulfilling life. When one of these relationships became an "escape hatch," Scorah's loss of faith culminated in her own personal apocalypse, the only kind of ending possible for a Jehovah's Witness. Shunned by family and friends as an apostate, Scorah was alone in Shanghai and thrown into a world she had only known from the periphery--with no education or support system. A coming of age story of a woman already in her thirties, this unforgettable memoir examines what it's like to start one's life over again with an entirely new identity. It follows Scorah to New York City, where a personal tragedy forces her to look for new ways to find meaning in the absence of religion. With compelling, spare prose, Leaving the Witness traces the bittersweet process of starting over, when everything one's life was built around is gone.
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review
Butterflyamore
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Panpan

For a memoir about someone leaving a religion and finding a life, I was disappointed to discover that very little of the book focuses on the experience of questioning her beliefs and actually leaving the Jehovah‘s Witness religion.

Full review: https://www.facebook.com/262384764521804/posts/403621260398153/?d=n

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BestDogDad
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Five good reads in November. The eye-opening Leaving the Witness and the melancholy A Piece of the World were my two favs. #novemberwrapup

Suet624 I so want to read Leaving the Witness! 1mo
BestDogDad @Suet624 It‘s riveting! 1mo
10 likes2 comments
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eraderneely
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Mehso-so

Trigger Warning for a dead baby!
I was listening to this while feeding my daughter and all of a sudden the author is describing her 4 month old son‘s death. At most points in my life I could bear hearing that part of her story, but right now I‘m doing everything I can not to have those sorts of nightmares.
I love a leaving-a-cult memoir, but this was just average. The descriptions of JWs working within China was the most interesting bit.
👇🏼

eraderneely If you‘re interested in the book, but not in a place to hear about her experience with her son, just skip the last 15 minutes. 2mo
13 likes1 comment
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BestDogDad
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Pickpick

The book follows Amber's life from missionary work in China to being disfellowshipped from the Jehovah‘s Witnesses, with flashbacks to her upbringing and how belonging to this religion affected her life as a young person. She explores the beginnings of the religion, its inner workings, and beliefs and practices. The audible book was narrated by Amber and the narration was kind of flat but the story was so good that it didn't affect my interest.

12 likes3 stack adds
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readtheworld
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Mehso-so

Interesting memoir about Scorah‘s time as a Jehovah‘s Witness missionary in China, and how she began to question what she was preaching. A bit light on details in parts, and the end felt too rushed to me.

#audiobooks #leavingreligion #memoir

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catiewithac
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Pickpick

I‘ve always been curious about Amber Scorah‘s strange “religion.” Whenever I encounter Jehovah Witnesses in a hospital setting, they are by far the most anxious and fearful patients. Here Scorah reveals the beliefs and practices of her former “faith” and shares how she came to see otherwise. This brave memoir is sure to tick off some Read Harder categories; Scorah was an illegal missionary in China when she left Jehovah. #botm 👍🏻

lele1432 I can't wait to read this one! 4mo
55 likes1 stack add1 comment
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kelseynicburke
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Redwritinghood
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Mehso-so

For this one, I felt the author distanced herself too much from her story. It almost felt like she was writing about someone else most of the time. There are some good segments in the book, but overall the writing style was so-so. The author has, however, gone through some dark times and unique challenges and has some valuable perspective to give. 3⭐️

Penny_LiteraryHoarders Yes, agreed. 5mo
63 likes1 comment
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Amor4Libros
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Pickpick

This was such a good read! I‘m a fan of memoirs, especially the ones about religion and this one has been one of my favorites. 4⭐️

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Penny_LiteraryHoarders
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Pickpick

A toss between a pick and a so-so. A pick because amazing courage to go alone to another country, especially like China, and realize you need to build a new life away from the Jehovah Witnesses. A so-so because this was simplistically written with a fairly immature voice.

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Penny_LiteraryHoarders
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My first of so many library holds came in. 😊😊

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Erynecki
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Pickpick

Partly the tale of a religious expat (she‘s a Jehovah‘s Witness in China) and partly the tale of a woman figuring out the meaning of family, community, and cult as it played out in her own life, this memoir offers a unique perspective on the courage it takes to make a dramatic shift in one‘s thinking. As Kirkus reviews said of the book: “An intriguing read about a mysterious religion.” #eryneckireads2019 #bookstagram #memoir #nonfiction

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Amor4Libros
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Next up...Been dying to read this! #24in48

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Cubanmommy95
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So excited to start this one #amberscorah #exjw