Leaving the Witness by Amber Scorah

Leaving the Witness

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. I...

Details Leaving the Witness

TitleLeaving the Witness
Release DateJun 4th, 2019
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Religion, Biography, Biography Memoir

Reviews Leaving the Witness

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    I have a feeling this memoir is on the cusp of something really big. If my review is the first you are hearing of it, I think you will be hearing about it again. And again. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Amber Scorah is a third-generation Jehovah’s Witness. Her life is spent believing in Armageddon and spreading the word as a witness. Amber is so devout she moves to China to minister there, where it is illegal to do so. To do what she did in Shanghai, Sc...
  • Jen
    Never would have guessed that in a book about Jehovah's Witnesses that I would also find a mini historical look back at the beginning of the podcast era AND Alanis Morissette's breakout album "Jagged Little Pill."This book really checks so many boxes: it's a spy novel, an insider's look at a religious cult, in parts it's even a coming-of-age story. And all along, it's the memoir of one very strong woman. The journey Scorah has been on in life is ...
  • Molly
    I requested and received an ARC of this book from the publisher. All Amber Scorah knew was life as a Jehovah's Witness. Brought into the church at a young age by her grandmother, Amber conceived of the world as completely black and white, with JWs being the only people "inside the truth" and the only people who would live eternally. After a youthful indiscretion that almost got her kicked out of the church, she married a fellow JW and they embark...
  • Kat N
    I really enjoyed this book. Incredibly interesting and eye-opening to see how some people have lived/are living. The author tells her story with insight and wit, and brutal honesty. I laughed and I cried (boy, did I cry), and the descriptions of Shanghai teleported me there instantly. A highly original story that needed to be told. Five stars.
  • Don Campbell
    I was not raised as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but at the age of 18 I became convinced that they had “the Truth.” But, college, my friends (especially THAT girl), and my mother’s hopes for my future delayed my decision to “give it all up for Jehovah.” But a terrible experience with drugs convinced me that the only way to find happiness was to commit fully to being a Jehovah’s Witnesses at age 20. Commitment meant dropping out of co...
  • Genevieve Taylor
    I loved this heartfelt and insightful memoir of a woman raised in the intense and restrictive Jehovah's Witness religion. With clarity and empathy, she explains what it's like growing up in the religion, and why they think what they do. Her entire worldview shifts while she's preaching illegally in China, and as she learns about a culture other than her own, she begins to question the inherent 'truth' of her own beliefs.
  • Laurel
    Fantastic. A MUST READ for any former member of a cult or high demand religion. Honestly, so deeply mirrored my experience of leaving that it was a bit triggering, and also incredibly meaningful to me. This book accurately describes the feeling of emerging from naivete, emerging from a false world into the real world. It's traumatizing and confusing and embarrassing. It is liberating. What you see can't be unseen.
  • Kathleen Gray
    Wow. Amber Scorah has lived a life few can even imagine and experienced an incredible tragedy. Her life as a Jehovah Witness and her experiences in China are fascinating- there are some wonderful scenes in Shanghai. This is, however, more a story, at least to me, of coming of age and discovering truths within one's self. This isn't a comfortable process for anyone and it's not easy to convey in writing. Scorah takes a subtle approach, which I app...
  • SusanS
    Book Court - Where I'm the Judge and JuryCHARGE (What is the author trying to say?): To describe leaving the Jehovah Witness lifestyle.FACTS: Amber and her husband traveled to China as Jehovah Witness missionaries. Their marriage was over but their religion bound them together. “I was not allowed to leave him, so perhaps if I left enough places with him, it would suffice.” She had given up a career, education, financial security, and close pe...
  • Jacqueline
    This memoir chronicles Amber Scorah's experiences with Jehovah's Witness – both her upbringing in the faith as well as how she eventually left. It's a fascinating foray into a type of experience that is rarely written about, and Scorah writes about her experiences with tenderness and humor. She captures the way that religions can provide us safe narratives as well as the messiness that comes with untangling ourselves from them.
  • Donna Hines
    "A riveting memoir of losing faith and finding freedom while a covert missionary in one of the world's most restrictive countries.""Everyone has a cross to bear."I can't imagine 'dysfellowshipped' from the congregation for 'heavy petting.' Amber is the 3rd generation Jehovah Witness who as you can see has been involved in some risky behaviors at a young age and afterwards upon feeling trapped in a loveless marriage and turns to adultery as her go...
  • Jeremy Howell
    "Leaving the Witness" is a fascinating look into the workings of a multi-million member cult, and their underground activities in a country where they are banned - an aspect of their work that many even current members know little about.The culture shock the author experiences leads her to innocently shedding her Western assumptions and biases in order to preach more effectively, only to find that some of her beliefs may be among these assumption...
  • Andy Winder
    A very deep and heartbreaking memoir about leaving a traumatic and repressive religion for freedom, even if that freedom is uncertain and at times tragic. I was struck by the narrator's strength and perseverance after losing so much–her family, her church community, and her child as well. That's more than I think most people could bear and that she's able to do so and reflect on it with such a sense of maturity speaks a lot to who she is.Though...
  • Olga
    An interesting read about a life path I cannot relate to but I was keen to learn about. I liked both the story of the author's life as a Witness and life as a foreigner in China. Amber is a good writer and this book goes down very fast. I do have to say that the first half of the book was better than the second half in terms of both style and depth of the story (as another other reviewer pointed out). I also particularly enjoyed that the story wa...
  • LibraryLaur
    Interesting account of the author's realization that the religion she was born into is actually a cult; she goes from zealous missionary to leaving entirely. I would have liked a little more insight into what Jehovah's Witnesses' doctrine actually is, but overall this was a compelling account of one woman's journey.* Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
  • Amber
    It’s not very often that a book takes my breath away. I felt I couldn’t breathe for about the last 5 minutes of the book. I cannot imagine the pain that the author went through. Prior to the end, I enjoyed this book not only for the glimpse into JW life but also for the insights into Chinese culture. Thank you Amber for sharing your story. I’m looking forward to checking out the Dear Amber podcast to learn more about Chinese culture as well...
  • Rhonda Lomazow
    An eye open look at the world of the Jehovahs Witnesses a group identity as a religious cult.Each moment of their lives are dictated controlled by the church.Amber Scorah shares with us herblife herbloveless marriage her life in China ordered by the church and finally leaving the church all the people all she knew and the excitement of her new life of freedom.A terrific read by a brave woman.
  • Kevin Ashby
    A startling personal memoir by a remarkably charismatic young woman. Vacillating between rebellion and acquiescence Ms. Scorah finds herself in China where she finds her faith crumbling under the weight of a failing marriage, newfound freedom from a controlling congregation, and her own burgeoning success. The author is brave enough to even explore those things in herself that are perhaps unflattering and that just adds to the power of her story.
  • Angie
    I absolutely loved this book.
  • Aria
    ---- Disclosure: I received this book for free from Goodreads. ----