The sale Rules Do popular Not Apply: A Memoir outlet online sale

The sale Rules Do popular Not Apply: A Memoir outlet online sale

The sale Rules Do popular Not Apply: A Memoir outlet online sale

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER •  “This Year’s Must-Read Memoir” (W magazine) about the choices a young woman makes in her search for adventure, meaning, and love

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
VogueTimeEsquireEntertainment WeeklyThe GuardianHarper’s BazaarLibrary Journal • NPR 

All her life, Ariel Levy was told that she was too fervent, too forceful, too much. As a young woman, she decided that becoming a writer would perfectly channel her strength and desire. She would be a professional explorer—“the kind of woman who is free to do whatever she chooses.” Levy moved to Manhattan to pursue her dream, and spent years of adventure, traveling all over the world writing stories about unconventional heroines, following their fearless examples in her own life.

But when she experiences unthinkable heartbreak, Levy is forced to surrender her illusion of control. In telling her story, Levy has captured a portrait of our time, of the shifting forces in American culture, of what has changed and what has remained. And of how to begin again.

Praise for The Rules Do Not Apply

“Unflinching and intimate, wrenching and revelatory, Ariel Levy’s powerful memoir about love, loss, and finding one’s way shimmers with truth and heart on every page.” —Cheryl Strayed

“Every deep feeling a human is capable of will be shaken loose by this profound book. Ariel Levy has taken grief and made art out of it.” —David Sedaris

“Beautifully crafted . . . This book is haunting; it is smart and engaging. It was so engrossing that I read it in a day.” The New York Times Book Review

“Levy’s wise and poignant memoir is the voice of a new generation of women, full of grit, pathos, truth, and inspiration. Being in her presence is energizing and ennobling. Reading her deep little book is inspiring.” San Francisco Book Review

“Levy has the rare gift of seeing herself with fierce, unforgiving clarity. And she deploys prose to match, raw and agile. She plumbs the commotion deep within and takes the measure of her have-it-all generation.” The Atlantic

“Cheryl Strayed meets a Nora Ephron movie. You’ll laugh, ugly cry, and finish it before the weekend’s over.” theSkimm

Review

“I read  The Rules Do Not Apply in one long, rapt sitting. Unflinching and intimate, wrenching and revelatory, Ariel Levy’s powerful memoir about love, loss, and finding one’s way shimmers with truth and heart on every page.” —Cheryl Strayed 

“Every deep feeling a human is capable of will be shaken loose by this profound book. Ariel Levy has taken grief and made art out of it.” —David Sedaris

“Beautifully crafted . . . This book is haunting; it is smart and engaging. It was so engrossing that I read it in a day.” The New York Times Book Review

“Levy’s wise and poignant memoir is the voice of a new generation of women, full of grit, pathos, truth, and inspiration. Being in her presence is energizing and ennobling. Reading her deep little book is inspiring.” —San Francisco Book Review

“Levy has the rare gift of seeing herself with fierce, unforgiving clarity. And she deploys prose to match, raw and agile. She plumbs the commotion deep within and takes the measure of her have-it-all generation.” The Atlantic

“Cheryl Strayed meets a Nora Ephron movie. You’ll laugh, ugly cry, and finish it before the weekend’s over.” theSkimm

“This year’s must-read memoir.” W

“Levy’s tone is deeply honest, and at the same time manages to not be defensive or apologetic about her decisions; she’s not judgmental, but remains highly inquisitive. The through line is her struggle to see things as accurately as possible, to translate her gift for interview and narrative into something personally productive. . . . I loved Levy’s book.” Jezebel

“[ The Rules Do Not Apply] is a short, sharp American memoir in the Mary Karr tradition of life-chronicling. . . . Levy, like Karr, is a natural writer who is also as unsparing and bleakly hilarious as it’s possible to be about oneself. . . . I devoured her story in one sitting.” Financial Times

“It’s an act of courage to hunt for meaning within grief, particularly if the search upends your life and shakes out the contents for all the world to sift through. Levy embarks on the hunt beautifully.” Chicago Tribune

“Frank and unflinchingly sincere . . . A gut-wrenching, emotionally charged work of soul-baring writing in the spirit of Joan Didion, Helen Macdonald, and Elizabeth Gilbert . . . A must-read for women.” —Bustle

“Ariel Levy is a writer of uncompromising honesty, remarkable clarity, and surprising humor gathered from the wreckage of tragedy. I am the better for having read this book.” —Lena Dunham

“Ariel Levy seems to be living out the unlived lives of an entire generation of women, simultaneously. Free to do whatever she chooses, she chooses everything. While reinventing work, marriage, family, pregnancy, sex, and divorce for herself from the ground up, Levy experiences devastating loss. And she recounts it all here with searing intimacy and an unsentimental yet openhearted rigor.” —Alison Bechdel

About the Author

Ariel Levy joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2008, and received the National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism in 2014 for her piece “Thanksgiving in Mongolia.” She is the author of the book Female Chauvinist Pigs and was a contributing editor at New York for twelve years.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1

My favorite game when I was a child was Mummy and Explorer. My father and I would trade off roles: One of us had to lie very still with eyes closed and arms crossed over the chest, and the other had to complain, “I’ve been searching these pyramids for so many years—­when will I ever find the tomb of Tutankhamun?” (This was in the late seventies when Tut was at the Met, and we came in from the suburbs to visit him frequently.) At the climax of the game, the explorer stumbles on the embalmed Pharaoh and—­brace yourself—­the mummy opens his eyes and comes to life. The explorer has to express shock, and then say, “So, what’s new?” To which the mummy replies, “You.”

I was not big on playing house. I preferred make-­believe that revolved around adventure, starring pirates and knights. I was also domineering, impatient, relentlessly verbal, and, as an only child, often baffled by the mores of other kids. I was not a popular little girl. I played Robinson Crusoe in a small wooden fort my parents built from a kit in the backyard, where I sorted through the acorns and onion grass I gathered for sustenance. In the fort, I was neither ostracized nor ill at ease—­I was self-­reliant, brave, ingeniously surviving, if lost.

Books are the other natural habitat for a child who loves words and adventures, and I was content when my parents read me Moby-­Dick, Pippi Longstocking, or The Hobbit. I decided early that I would be a writer when I grew up. That, I thought, was the profession that went with the kind of woman I wanted to become: one who is free to do whatever she chooses.

I started keeping a diary in the third grade and, in solidarity with Anne Frank, I named it and personified it and made it my confidante. “The point that prompted me to keep a diary in the first place: I don’t have a friend,” Frank told Kitty, her journal. Writing is communicating with an unknown intimate who is always available, the way the faithful can turn to God. My lined notebooks were the only place I could say as much as I wanted, whenever I wanted. To this day I feel comforted and relieved of loneliness, no matter how foreign my surroundings, if I have a pad and a pen.

As a journalist, I’ve spent nearly two decades putting myself in foreign surroundings as frequently as possible. There is nothing I love more than traveling to a place where I know nobody, and where everything will be a surprise, and then writing about it. It’s like having a new lover—­even the parts you aren’t crazy about have the crackling fascination of the unfamiliar.

The first story I ever published was about another world only an hour from my apartment. I was twenty-­two, living in the East Village in a sixth-­floor walk-­up with a roommate and roaches, working as an assistant at New York magazine. My friend Mayita was an intern in the photo department who knew about a nightclub for obese women in Queens. We talked about it during our lunch break, when we were walking around midtown Manhattan with our plastic containers of limp salad, dreading going back to the office.

I was not a key member of the staff. It was my job to take the articles the writers faxed over and type them into the computer system—­it was 1996, email was still viewed as a curious phenomenon that might blow over. Also, I had to input the crossword puzzle by looking back and forth between the paper the puzzle-­crafter sent me and my computer screen, trying to remember if it went black, black, white, black, or black, white, black, black. I was in a constant state of embittered self-­righteousness at the office. How had I been mistaken for a charwoman? Mayita was similarly horrified by the tumble her status had taken: As a senior at Wesleyan just a few months before, she had been the next Sally Mann. Now she alphabetized negatives all day. (When we expressed subdued versions of our outrage to our elders, their responses invariably included the phrase “paying your dues.” It was not a phrase we cared for.)

We decided not to wait for someone at the office to give us permission to do what we really wanted. We took the subway about a million stops into Queens and went to a cavernous bar in Rego Park where women who weighed hundreds of pounds went to dance and flirt with their admirers and have lingerie pageants at four in the morning. It was very dark in there. The air smelled stagnant and sweaty and the drinks were so strong they fumed. But the women were magnificent, like enormous birds: feathery false eyelashes fluttering, tight, shiny dresses in peacock blue and canary yellow, the dim light reflecting off their sequins. Mayita and I stood out. We were puny, dressed in jeans and drab sweaters, little pigeons. It was scary, but electrifying: What we’re writing is more important than your anxiety and humiliation, my competent self told me. So I went up to complete strangers with my notepad, and asked them to tell me their stories.

And they did. They told me about being fat little girls, or about how they got fat after they had children. They said they were sick of being ashamed, sick of apologizing for taking up so much space, so they’d come to believe that big was beautiful (or at least they’d come to believe it some of the time). They had passionate admirers, but it was difficult because they could never be sure if the men they dated—­the “chubby chasers”—­loved them for themselves, or for their fat. For their fat! I marveled on the way back to my apartment from the subway at 5 a.m. in the fading darkness.

The Manhattan around me in the late nineties was glossy, greedy, hard. The slim women on Madison Avenue, on television, with their clicking heels and ironed-­straight hair, gripped thousand-­dollar handbags covered with interlocking G’s. The restaurants people wanted to get into were sleek and ferociously expensive—­nobody talked about farm to table; nobody wanted to see rough-­hewn reclaimed wood. It was the genesis of Internet culture, and people my age kept making enormous sums of money on start-­ups, on all sorts of things. A friend at work optioned the first big article she published at the magazine to a producer for half a million dollars when she was only twenty-­five. (It was about the rich young publicists who maintained the city’s nocturnal hierarchy, wielding their guest lists and their gift bags. “Most of us have as much power as older guys in suits,” one of them said. “And soon enough we’ll have more.”)

There was no undercurrent of fear, very little pull against the prevailing tide of self-­interest at that time. My generation had never experienced a real, prolonged war. Nobody thought about terrorism. Even climate change still seemed like something that could be safely ignored until the distant future—­perhaps we would prevent it by recycling our soda cans. There was an unapologetic ethos of consumption in New York City, which the magazine I worked for both satirized and promoted. I found it alluring and alienating by turns.

So to locate an underworld of women who simply opted out of that slick culture, whose very bodies were unmistakable monuments of resistance, was thrilling. As I wrote my story (which turned out to be a lot harder than I’d imagined it would), I felt I was describing an exotic universe with its own aesthetic and manners, but even more, I was writing about an unconventional kind of female life. What does it mean to be a woman? What are the rules? What are your options and encumbrances? I wanted to tell stories that answered, or at least asked, those questions.

I was giddy when an editor at the magazine said that they would publish my article and Mayita’s photos, and pay us for them. (They gave the story what is still the best headline I’ve ever had: women’s lb.) That article fee was special money, magic money—­a reward for doing something that was its own reward. It was also two thousand dollars, which was more than my monthly take-­home pay. Usually, it was a stretch to cover the cost of subway tokens and the rent on my grimy, depressing apartment. But after I got paid for my story, I went to the fancy salad bar at lunchtime for weeks. I took heedless scoops of the beets with blood-­orange segments; I piled sliced steak next to them with abandon.

Writing was the solution to every problem—­financial, emotional, intellectual. It had kept me company when I was a lonely child. It gave me an excuse to go places I would otherwise be unlikely to venture. It satisfied the edict my mother had issued many times throughout my life: “You have to make your own living; you never want to be dependent on a man.” And it made me feel good, like there was a reason for me. “It is a very strange thing that people will give you a motor car if you will tell them a story,” Virginia Woolf said in an address to the National Society for Women’s Service, a group of female professionals, in 1931. “It is a still stranger thing that there is nothing so delightful in the world as telling stories.”

I’d been promoted to staff writer by the time I fell in love, when I was twenty-­eight. I got married a few years later—­we all did. As we reached our thirtieth birthdays, my friends and I were like kernels of popcorn exploding in a pot: First one, then another, and pretty soon we were all bursting into matrimony. There were several years of peace, but then the pregnancies started popping. I found this unsettling.

To become a mother, I feared, was to relinquish your status as the protagonist of your own life. Your questions were answered, your freedom was gone, your path would calcify in front of you. And yet it still pulled at me. Being a professional explorer would become largely impossible if I had a child, but having a kid seemed in many ways like the wildest possible trip. Sometimes, on the long flights I took for my stories, I would listen to a Lou Reed song called “Beginning of a Great Adventure” on my iPod or in my head. It’s about impending parenthood: “A little me or he or she to fill up with my dreams / A way of saying life is not a loss.” As my friends, one after the next, made the journey from young woman to mother, it glared at me that I had not.

Some of my friends were outraged to discover that reproduction was not necessarily a simple mission. Can you believe I’m still not pregnant? they would ask, embittered, distraught, as their sex lives became suffused by grim determination, and they endured inseminations, in vitro, hormone injections, humiliation. I’ve been trying for a year . . . two . . . five. I’ve spent six thousand dollars on these doctors . . . eight thousand . . . forty thousand.

I listened to them. I said things that I hoped sounded comforting. But the thought in my head was always, Of course. It wasn’t as though the research had just come in: Fertility wanes as the years accrue. We all knew this to be true. But somehow we imagined we could get around it.

We lived in a world where we had control of so much. If we didn’t want to carry groceries up the steps, we ordered them online and waited in our sweatpants on the fourth floor for a man from Asia or Latin America to come panting up, encumbered with our cat litter and organic bananas. If we wanted to communicate with one another when we were on opposite ends of the earth, we picked up devices that didn’t exist when we were young and sent each other texts, emails, pictures we’d taken seconds earlier without any film. Anything seemed possible if you had ingenuity, money, and tenacity. But the body doesn’t play by those rules.

We were raised to think we could do what we wanted—­we were free to be you and me! And many of our parents’ revolutionary dreams had actually come true. A black man really could be president. It was sort of okay to be gay—­gay married, even. You could be female and have an engrossing career and you didn’t have to be a wife or mother (although, let’s face it, it still seemed advisable: Spinsterhood never exactly lost its taint). Sometimes our parents were dazzled by the sense of possibility they’d bestowed upon us. Other times, they were aghast to recognize their own entitlement, staring back at them magnified in the mirror of their offspring.

Daring to think that the rules do not apply is the mark of a visionary. It’s also a symptom of narcissism.

I always get terrified before I travel. I become convinced that this time I won’t be able to figure out the map, or communicate with non-­English-­speakers, or find the people I need in order to write the story I’ve been sent in search of. I will be lost and incompetent and vulnerable.

So it was with childbearing: I was afraid for almost a decade. I didn’t like childhood, and I was afraid that I’d have a child who didn’t, either. I was afraid I would be an awful mother. And I was afraid of being grounded, sessile—­stuck in one spot for twenty years of oboe lessons and math homework that I hadn’t been able to finish the first time around.

I paid attention to what I saw and read on the subject. “A child, yes, is a vortex of anxieties,” Elena Ferrante wrote in her novel The Lost Daughter. Her protagonist eventually rips herself away from her children, and enters an experience of the sublime: “Everything starting from zero. No habit, no sensations dulled by predictability. I was I, I produced thoughts not distracted by any concern other than the tangled thread of dreams and desires.” If you held a baby all night and day, your hands would not be free to cling to that tangled thread.

I once saw an interview with Joni Mitchell in which she explained why she didn’t marry Graham Nash and have his babies when they were a couple in the sixties. She turned her back on the domestic dream she had inspired him to canonize: “I’ll light the fire, you place the flowers in the vase.” After he proposed, Mitchell found herself thinking about her grandmother, a frustrated musician who felt so trapped by motherhood and women’s work that one afternoon she “kicked the kitchen door off the hinges.” Her life would not be about self-­expression. She resigned herself to her reality.

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4.1 out of 54.1 out of 5
654 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

LoJoSo
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Exceptional writing about a deeply personal tragedy and an interesting life
Reviewed in the United States on February 18, 2018
Best book I''ve read in a while. Incredible writing, full of insight and rich emotional detail. I''m rather shocked by the negative reviews. She was narcissistic? Yes. She''s self aware enough to name it and to wrestle with it, and possibly to have grown beyond it. There were... See more
Best book I''ve read in a while. Incredible writing, full of insight and rich emotional detail. I''m rather shocked by the negative reviews. She was narcissistic? Yes. She''s self aware enough to name it and to wrestle with it, and possibly to have grown beyond it. There were too many tragedies? Yes. Several tragedies brewed in the background and then became a full-blown reality one after another. Tragedies sometimes do. There were too many tangents? Well, it''s a personal accounting, I think. A "life so far" in review. And I''m not sure you can understand the arcs of her relationships until you get a sense of her parents'' relationship. I found myself highlighting various turns of phrase that struck me as profound - and that''s not something I do with a lot of books.

Here''s a good way to tell if this book would be of interest to you. If you find the following paragraph to be well written and worth exploring (even if you think the answers to these questions should be reasonably self-evident), you will likely enjoy the book: "Who cares if sometimes you bring out your seduction skill set - briefly! -for a person other than your spouse and you have a little adventure with your body? Why did that have to be at your spouse''s expense? Couldn''t you promise your deepest love, your first allegiance, to your favorite person without locking yourself in a chastity belt and presenting her with the key?"
70 people found this helpful
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carmen
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
From someone who isn’t a Levy fan...
Reviewed in the United States on March 8, 2018
I began this book expecting to find the author as off-putting as I found her other writings. The “why” doesn’t have a place in this review, but it’s important to know that I didn’t care for Ms. Levy’s work. I purchased this because I admit I was intrigued by how one loses... See more
I began this book expecting to find the author as off-putting as I found her other writings. The “why” doesn’t have a place in this review, but it’s important to know that I didn’t care for Ms. Levy’s work. I purchased this because I admit I was intrigued by how one loses all she did and still draws breath. I admit to being humbled by the author’s laying bare her failings, her scars, hell...her entire being. No finger pointing, no blame, unless directed at herself. A short, brutal read I will carry with me forever. Ms. Levy, I want you to know I would’ve looked at your pictures, had you tried to show them to me. I would cry with you. I would get s**t-faced drunk with you and laugh until I was convinced I’d die from it. Regardless of the fact you and I are on opposite ends of our beliefs-politically and personally-we are both women who have known love and loss; and not only survived, but damn well learned to live again with it. This shared survival trumps our differences. Kudos, Ms. Levy. Your honesty broke my heart. But it also reminded me that we, as women, should remember our shared experience and not be bound by our differences in opinions.
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Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Narcissism at its finest
Reviewed in the United States on November 6, 2018
I will always remember this book for how truly awful it was. The author is completely consumed with herself beginning to end. No revelatory moments or true self reflection. Writing about the devastation you leave in your wake or your own failure to recognize (perhaps... See more
I will always remember this book for how truly awful it was.
The author is completely consumed with herself beginning to end. No revelatory moments or true self reflection. Writing about the devastation you leave in your wake or your own failure to recognize (perhaps blatant ignoring of) illness/addiction in your loved ones is not in and of itself redemptive if you continue to act as a narcissist.

This book is a recommend only if you are trying to understand what goes on in the brain of narcissist.

When I finally remember who recommended this book to me they will get an earful.

And her writing is ok but not memorable at all. At least I can eliminate her other works from my reading list.
15 people found this helpful
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Mom3103
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Amazing, but a bit uneven ...
Reviewed in the United States on May 30, 2019
Amazing, heartbreaking and beautifully written. But a bit uneven. I agree with other reviewers that the last 5 - 7 chapters seem a bit rushed, which is disappointing given the fact that everything is gearing up for the end. Other readers complain that... See more
Amazing, heartbreaking and beautifully written. But a bit uneven.

I agree with other reviewers that the last 5 - 7 chapters seem a bit rushed, which is disappointing given the fact that everything is gearing up for the end.

Other readers complain that the book meanders and that the author is incredibly narcissistic. I agree with both of those to an extent, but neither one prevented me from loving the book.

The author didn''t find insight in places I would have liked her to. And the time jumps felt choppy in certain parts. I would have liked more information on her childhood and writing career and less on her affair.

Nevertheless, there are many moments in the book that provide stunning, quiet revelations. The author doesn''t hit you over the head with life lessons because she''s still learning them. But aren''t we all?

WARNING: If you''ve recently suffered a loss, this book could be a trigger.
7 people found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Self-Important and out of touch
Reviewed in the United States on January 13, 2019
Despite the fantastic writing ability, the author''s story reveals a narcissistic woman with loads of privilege who must navigate setbacks and challenges of life. She wonders why she can''t "have it all" as a woman and bemoans her very hard times in life (and the inability... See more
Despite the fantastic writing ability, the author''s story reveals a narcissistic woman with loads of privilege who must navigate setbacks and challenges of life. She wonders why she can''t "have it all" as a woman and bemoans her very hard times in life (and the inability to not "have it all"). This makes for a very infuriating read: loads of people struggle to get a good job, pay bills, get adequate healthcare/education, etc. She works for one of the most prestigious literary magazines in the world and has an apartment in Manhattan and a house in the Hamptons. The author exists and writes in a bubble, blames feminism for her troubles, and thus it''s hard to feel sympathy or connect with her as she writes about her self-made struggles.
10 people found this helpful
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Karen A Jones
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
LOVED IT I think those writing negative reviews missed the point...
Reviewed in the United States on November 16, 2018
the author lays herself bare by taking responsibility early on for for her life and the consequences of her actions. Paraphrasing - she leads into the contact with the former lover by saying... she was about to do something terrible that leads to a series of POOR LIFE... See more
the author lays herself bare by taking responsibility early on for for her life and the consequences of her actions. Paraphrasing - she leads into the contact with the former lover by saying... she was about to do something terrible that leads to a series of POOR LIFE CHOICES the stack on top of each other and block the sun.

INSIGHTFUL of human nature and relationships. I found this book EPIC in terms of its providing me a life changing insight - so negative reviewers there is at least one person in the world who got a new perspective on her own narcissism and a chance to reset on a future of possibility with her spouse - so it made a difference to this one.
SURPRISING if i had read about the author i never would have bought this book. I am many things she is not - like I object to ''feminism'' as someone doing me a favor. and the New Yorker? yikes - way off my GOP reading list but I found her story so human and intimate but not at all judge-y. I seriously don''t know how this got in my library - but sort of like a little miracle because i found her story from her completely different social and political leanings so completely compelling and told in a way that equalizes us all. her criticism of the al anon meeting is not a criticism of them or the program... it is her showing us her own vulnerability and therefore giving us a chance to look at our own similar faults.
I never read those book club questions after the book but I did this time - I am not sure the questions even get the depth available in this book. but they are still pretty good.
I also never have to look up words but looked up two in this book - and found the usage appropriate and not pretentious - something that "new yorker magazine" screams to me. the use of language just carried me along - i read this in two sittings - after finishing reading a book with my teenager and being in the mood for more fiction - which i thought this was - again - no idea how it got on my reading list - maybe i was drunk when i bought it. but i found it absolutely life changing.
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Hungry Reader
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Missing depth
Reviewed in the United States on July 24, 2017
I was surprised. It''s a book about everything, with no reason for much of what''s in it--not to this reader. Was her editor just too indulgent? Had, instead, the whole book been written to the final line in the book, "Nature. Mother Nature. She is free to do whatever she... See more
I was surprised. It''s a book about everything, with no reason for much of what''s in it--not to this reader. Was her editor just too indulgent? Had, instead, the whole book been written to the final line in the book, "Nature. Mother Nature. She is free to do whatever she chooses," this would have been one helluva powerful book. Had it been the central metaphor, amazing. But it''s not. We learn about how she learned to cook. But why? Where''s the pay off? There are profound details snuck in sideways, like her father''s cancer diagnosis (and her mother''s mastectomies). They come in suddenly and are gone. Why? Unless we''re meant to understand that she (and and those she loves), like the rest of us, have also suffered the indignities of being alive. Why so many pages early on about her mother''s special boyfriend? I hate to say it, but so what? It doesn''t add up to much emotionally throughout. I wanted to, but felt so little, particularly for our author. And that''s plainly wrong--because some of the language is taught and lovely, and anyone who suffers loss deserves our empathy and compassion. Missing: depth.
35 people found this helpful
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Kaylie Morgan
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Memoir About How Painful It Is To Really Grow Up
Reviewed in the United States on May 1, 2018
This memoir begins in the wry, comedic overconfident voice of youth. It is self-deprecating and funny until suddenly it is not. Levy chronicles the beginning of gay experience as it starts to mainstream with heterosexual experience, marriage and societal acceptance. This... See more
This memoir begins in the wry, comedic overconfident voice of youth. It is self-deprecating and funny until suddenly it is not. Levy chronicles the beginning of gay experience as it starts to mainstream with heterosexual experience, marriage and societal acceptance. This occurred for her well before gay marriage was voted in by the country and she was forced to manage its complexities. Her sadness is something most women can completely relate to. This is a surprisingly quick read. It is funny, painful and honest.
4 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Gemma Green
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Brilliant, devastating portrayal of love, relationships and loss
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 19, 2019
I loved this book. It feels strange to love a story that is ultimately so sad, but I always enjoyed her Cassandra newspaper column so knew I would enjoy the novel. Careers, sexuality, relationships, joy, love, disappointment... the whole sphere of the human condition is...See more
I loved this book. It feels strange to love a story that is ultimately so sad, but I always enjoyed her Cassandra newspaper column so knew I would enjoy the novel. Careers, sexuality, relationships, joy, love, disappointment... the whole sphere of the human condition is covered in a way, and with people, that hasn’t been told before. Ariel is so so honest, warts and all, even if that makes her unlikeable- and thank god women are starting to realise we don’t have to be likeable. An interesting part of her life. I recommend.
2 people found this helpful
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emma wright
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Four Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 2, 2017
Pretty well written but so, so depressing.
7 people found this helpful
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RadM
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Mesmerising!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 2, 2017
Levy’s memoir ferociously sucks you in and doesn’t let go off the tight grip until her very last words. What a soul wrenching piece of writing! The author’s honesty and her vocabulary are truly impressive.
7 people found this helpful
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Ljo
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Heartbreaking
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 13, 2019
I found how Ariel writes so openly about her trauma and loss heartbreaking and she makes you understand a bit more how this would feel. I did find however that a lot of the book started a story but didn''t go deep enough into it, I wanted more detail in parts but felt it...See more
I found how Ariel writes so openly about her trauma and loss heartbreaking and she makes you understand a bit more how this would feel. I did find however that a lot of the book started a story but didn''t go deep enough into it, I wanted more detail in parts but felt it just ended abruptly. I liked some parts of the book but not all so I wouldn''t recommend it to a friend.
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ruth lang
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This is spectacular. So insightful and brutally honest, ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 22, 2017
This is spectacular. So insightful and brutally honest, I couldn''t put it down. I''ve since been pestering everyone I know to read it.
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