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.
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.
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.
Cheryl Strayed meets a Nora Ephron movie. You ll laugh, ugly cry, and finish it before the weekend s over.
This year s must-read memoir.
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.
[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.
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.
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.
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.
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.