Originally published on The Nerd Daily.
No Rules [She Writes Press, June 2, 2020] is a groovy romp through yesteryear that takes us on a radical through 1970s counterculture and the early days of the modern feminist movement.
Colourful, adventurous, and transformative, No Rules recounts one woman’s journey from her conservative, Catholic upbringing in Connecticut to a full-blown child of the Seventies. Dukett’s narrative is expressive and emotional, giving her reader a first-hand glance back in time and alongside her journey into 1970s counterculture. The ride is bumpy, full of lessons, colourful experiences, and even colourful characters. It’s also unflinchingly raw and unapologetic, making Duckett’s journey immersive and powerfully resonant as she passes on the lessons she learned surviving in an era that transformed society’s expectations for girls and women.
From the moment sixteen-year-old Dukett decides to get into a car with her ex-boyfriend Eddie and her sister Anne and head for California, No Rules is a thrill ride of a memoir. Her journey takes her first to Venice, California, then onto a series of adventures across the country—including living in a commune!—and into a world that is not just miles apart geographically but totally foreign to her upbringing. By the end of her journey, not only is Dukett a transformed woman, but a presence that feels more like a friend than a storyteller.
Though she takes us back in time to a decade long passed, Dukett’s fascinatingly fresh memories and lessons echo those that are still top of mind in today’s rapidly changing and redefining society. Some of her experiences may not be palatable to everyone, but without them Duckett’s bravery, conviction, and risk-taking would lose their potency. Her storytelling is exactly the kind of coming of age adventure that many young people dream of having, and chock full of precisely the important messages and reminders we need today—primarily to stay alive, to keep fighting, to forgive ourselves for our mistakes, and to never give up.
Lindy Miller Ryan is an author, editor, and spooky things enthusiast who occasionally makes crafty things and bakes.