Ariel Levy’s memoir talks of a harrowing time when she lost her son, her spouse, and her house, all in a short span of time. In it, she scrutinizes the choices that caused these circumstances with great honesty.
Levy miscarried on a reporting trip to Mongolia. She was 19 weeks pregnant. Her son was born alive but did not survive. She returned to New York blaming herself.
The life she had carefully crafted for herself slipped away, incident by incident. Her marriage disintegrated after her miscarriage. However, the collapse had begun much earlier with Levy’s affair with a former lover and her wife’s alcoholism.
The book ended in uncertainty. That disappointed me but I reminded myself that this was a memoir and not an autobiography.
The title of the book, The Rules Do Not Apply, is apt. Levy says that she thought rules did not apply if you had ingenuity, money, and tenacity. But she learnt that we can’t have it all.
I liked the book but I am sure I would never read it again. I usually am extremely empathetic with the characters in every book I read. Despite the good writing, this book failed to move me. I continued reading it because I was curious to know what happened next.