**I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.**
When she left for a reporting trip, she was married, pregnant, and could call herself successful, all on her own terms. But a month later, none of that was true anymore.
In this memoir, Ariel Levy wrestles with the concept of a successful 21st century woman. She wants to have everything, and she wants to get it all in her own way. She gets married, but not to a man. When she gets pregnant, she wants the sperm donor to be a part of the child’s life. She lives a life that laughs in the face of the “2.5 wpf club” (to reference the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, the 2.5 wpf club is the group of American families who have 2.5 children and a white picket fence – basically referring to your stereotypical suburban dream family).
She grew up with parents who challenged the norms and boundaries of their lives within respectable limits, so she has no qualms about pushing those limits even further. Throughout this memoir, she causes the reader to challenge their own assumptions and moral code. She refers to the woman that she married as her spouse, and we are not explicitly told that she married a woman until we meet the woman. When she talks about extramarital affairs, they are portrayed as a normal, perhaps even beautiful part of romantic relationships.
And then, when everything in her life falls apart, we see her begin to question her entire approach to life. Now that the reader has had to question their values, the author gets a taste of the same. And none of those questions get answered. The entire book ends in the theoretical.
I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir. If you like books that are morally grey, that challenge conventionality, and that are left open-ended, definitely pick up The Rules Do Not Apply.