I don’t know why but I had a hard time getting through this book. I usually enjoyed it when I was reading but I just couldn’t get myself to sit down and read it. In fact, I read an entire different book in the middle of reading this one, which I rarely ever do.
I very much enjoyed the sections of the book where Ariel Levy discussed her life as a writer and the assignments she worked on. I loved hearing about her adventures, the people she talked to, where she went to track down a story. The writer in me loves hearing about how other writers work.
I know her personal struggles were what was supposed to be important here, and while I felt for her and everything she was going through, it was hard for me to connect with her. Maybe I am just too young and can’t relate to what she is talking about but I found that there was very little tonal shift in her storytelling. The beginning of the book tells you exactly what terrible things are going to happen and then the remainder of the book has this heavy, foreboding shadow hanging over it the whole time. I didn’t really believe her when she said that she was happy and so I didn’t feel like her life changed drastically when she lost some of those things.
I think that this would have worked better for me as a collection of essays rather than a memoir. I feel like she got lost in the idea of writing a memoir and the story arc that needed to be created in that manner.