The Rules Do Not Apply

The Rules Do Not Apply

A Memoir

Book - 2017
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"A gorgeous, darkly humorous memoir for readers of Cheryl Strayed about a woman overcoming dramatic loss and finding reinvention, as well as a portrait of a generation used to assuming they're entitled to everything--based on this award-winning writer's New Yorker article 'Thanksgiving in Mongolia'"-- Provided by publisher.
"In 2012, at age 38, when she left on a reporting trip to Mongolia, Ariel Levy thought she had figured it out: she was married, pregnant, successful on her own terms, financially secure. A month later, none of that was true. 'People have been telling me since I was a little girl that I was too fervent, too forceful, too much. I thought I had harnessed the power of my own strength and greed and love to a life that could contain it. But it has exploded.' In gorgeous, moving, humorous, sharp, and unforgettable prose, with pointillist portraits of a girl and then a young woman coming of age, Levy describes her own ill-fated assumptions: thinking that anything is possible, that the old rules do not apply; that marriage doesn't have to mean monogamy; that gender and sexuality are fluid; that aging doesn't have to mean infertility. This is a searing story, written with humor, brilliance, and insight, that is at once personal and universal--a story about realizing that life is so often beyond our control, and how we forge ahead despite that. In telling her own story, Levy has captured a portrait of our time, of the shifting forces in values, women and gender in American culture, of what has changed and what has remained"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780812996937
Characteristics: xi, 207 pages ; 22 cm


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Oct 02, 2017

One of my worst reading decisions has been to keep reading-skimming-reading after I found out how poorly this book was laid out. But I kept looking for some redemption in the author's story (it is, after all, a memoir); there was not. For me it only got worse. When a person realizes that they are not and can never be "in control of their life"--that is the best and most logical time to turn to God for true orientation and understanding of them self, their value, their purpose, etc. Not this person. She is worthy of much prayer and compassion, but not the paper and efforts of many people to put her writing into a book.

Sep 23, 2017

Fascinating to hear how somebody tried to circumvent "the rules" by applying her own - to ill effect I might add, nor sure whose rules she's referring to in the title. Nor surprised about outcome of pregnancy, interesting couple with so many problems considered parenthood a good idea. Doesn't mention divorce though mentions marriage ending and by the way, why did Emma get married in white? (Just asking.)

cmlibrary_lmansfield Jul 22, 2017

A touching memoir about love and loss. Levy's writing is beautiful, compelling, and connecting as she relates her own heartbreaking experiences to universal truths. Warning, this one will definitely make you cry.

Jul 09, 2017

Ariel does an amazing job of describing the incredible lonely and severe anguish she felts after loosing her child due to a miscarriage. I have never been pregnant, but I know the feeling of having to move far away from a dear little boy I know in another country.... (the child I never had).

Jun 27, 2017

I am a notoriously slow reader, but read this in 2 days, it was so compelling. Levy's writing is beautifully eloquent and honest. Her story is both happy and tragic, and while she admittedly makes some poor choices in life, her reflection on this is insightful. I wished for a more conclusive ending, but somehow it perfectly completed her story.

Jun 02, 2017

Did not enjoy, only finished it because I like to hear about women's travel adventures but she did not have many of those. It seemed to me like I was reading her unedited journal, some introspection but not anything like Cheryl Strayed.

May 25, 2017

This woman is the best interviewer I've heard lately which is why I finally took the time to read this book. She is upbeat and positive and so good at getting people to share their experiences, and has such original ways of responding. So reading her I figured she'd be that positive and unique, even though she's known for her tragic stories on podcasts and er completely, awfully sad story, "Thanksgiving in Mongolia."

Somehow the happy and the sad come together perfectly in a beautiful way, sharing in her original voice her original life. I think I read it in a day. I wanted to give her a hug, wanted to bake her cookies, wanted to thank her. I still do.

May 01, 2017

Written in an easy, friendly voice, this book chronicles Levy's life with her parents, her move to independence and love, and then the losses she faced. It's interesting and engaging and I'd love to read more from her.

VaughanPLRachelP Apr 12, 2017

Ariel Levy has this really honest, straight-forward way of writing about her life that I really liked. Her memoir was sometimes difficult to read - sometimes as she was making choices I wouldn't have, other times as I was reading about her suffering and her happy life falling apart in ways that couldn't have been predicted. Recommended for all memoir fans, and especially fans of Cheryl Strayed.


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