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No Rules: A Memoir

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  89 ratings  ·  62 reviews
It’s 1971 in Connecticut, and sixteen-year-old Sharon’s parents think that, because she’s a girl, she should become a clerical office worker after high school and live at home until she marries and has a family. But Sharon wants to join the hippies and be part of the changing society, so she leaves home and heads to California.

Upon arriving in California, Sharon is thrown
Published June 2nd 2020 by She Writes Press
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Charlotte Dune
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’m going to go ahead and call it — No Rules by Sharon Dukett is the best beach read of 2020, and my favorite read of the summer. Sharon Dukett has written an incredible memoir detailing her the wild years of her youth in the late sixties and early seventies.

The memoir is full of love, sex, psychedelics, adventure, road trips, self-discovery, women’s empowerment, and off-grid living, I mean what more could you ask for in a book.

What made this memoir really unique and quite astounding to me was
Jamele (BookswithJams)
Jun 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs, partner
This was a fascinating memoir to read. I am not a risk taker at heart, so it is interesting to read about someone that can up and leave home at such a young age and have the experiences that Sharon did. She was brave, stood up for what she believed in and had no fear. I cannot say that about myself even to this day and so this was inspiring for that reason alone. Did she do some dumb stuff? Yes. But have I? Yes. So I appreciated her honesty in that regard as well, because it made this memoir ver ...more
The Nerd Daily
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Seven Jane

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 unflinc
May 28, 2020 rated it liked it
I appreciate Sharon sharing her story about growing up in the 1970s and joining the women's movement. Which this was a big victory for women to be the leaders and voices that they are today in business and society.

Sharon may have did things like taking drugs or had various relationships but all these things shaped and were a part of her past. You can't change the past but you can embrace and move on from it. Which there is no judgment on how someone lives. That is why I like to read memoirs. Yo
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Who should read Sharon Dukett’s memoir, NO RULES? Well, lovers of the memoir genre, of course, for two reasons. One, simply because Dukett’s writing is exquisitely sparse and beyond all modern measure, competent. But, also, because her recall is nothing short of remarkable. Every page documents the early 1970s and every page rings true, both historically and personally.

If you are a Gen X (or even millennial) woman who wonders what the nitty gritty of that early era of modern feminism was really
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book blew me away! The author and I are exactly the same age. We would have graduated from high school in the same year. Neither of us ended up on the path that was expected of many young women back in the early 70s but we found ourselves in drastically different ways. My mouth dropped open reading page after page. Not from judging her at all, mind you, but just being astonished that she was so adventurous and brave at such a young age. Frankly, the book was a real nail biter but I googled ...more
Sharon left her parents home, to be free from her parents and live the hippie lifestyle!. She goes to California to live on a commune. She tells the story of her experiences, drugs, lovers, friends, and traveling to many different places! Some of her experiences  made me feel sad, and others that I found to be exciting!  I found this memoir so insightful and I enjoyed hearing about this time in history, as I was born in the 70s, so I've really only seen pictures and heard stories from family. I ...more
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The story told by Sharon Dukett about her girl-to-young woman transformation exquisitely captures her defiant nature, apparent at the age 16. In an exploration of self-worth, Ms. Dukett describes her choice to flee from her conservative Connecticut home into the arms of the California hippie lifestyle with intimate and honest detail. Much of her time in California revolves around her relationship with men. With each successive sexual encounter, Ms. Duckett becomes more aware of how the double st ...more
Barbara Carter
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
The story begins in Connecticut 1971 when sixteen-year-old Sharon heads to California with her older sister.
Tired of rules, she’s looking for freedom.
I can relate to much of her life growing up. From overcontrolling parents to wearing homemade clothes. I too hated the long, lonely summers and fantasized about a different life.
Sharon wanted a different life than her parents. I too wanted the same!
Both Sharon and I had an Irish setter, too.
Sharon watched her parents control her older sister, who
Erin Cataldi
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
1971 - Free love reigns and hippies are the center of the counterculture movement. Sixteen year old Sharon Dukett had enough of her parents and the rules and expectations laid out for her (get married and start a family) so she and her older sister move to California and thus begin some of the most formative coming of age experiences for Sharon. Drugs, new lovers, responsibilities (or lack thereof), protests, spiritualism, and travel. This memoir really encompasses what it was like to be a free ...more
Aug 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I don’t know about you, but when I hear references to the 60s and 70s, my thoughts veer toward a rosy-hazed Dazed and Confused setting: everything laced with flowers, love and drugs, and bell bottoms. So of course I was all over it when the opportunity arose to read and review Sharon Dukett’s memoir.

Needless to say, SD has shown me that there was a lot more to life during that time period. This has been proving to be one of those memoirs that reminds me why I love reading them so much: an in-dep
Laurie Buchanan
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written with radical candor and the power of hindsight, the pages of NO RULES are explosive and colorful. Between the covers of this book, author Sharon Dukett shares a brutally honest look at real-life survival as a runaway teen and the roles that sex and drugs played in discovering herself—and coming into her own—during the counter-culture of the 1970s. I highly recommend this five-star read.
Mary Meggie
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Mary Meggie

Leave home, abandon all rules and become your own boss, explore boundaries, seek adventure, it’s a fantasy shared by most adolescents at one time or another....What Ms. Dukett did most of us merely dared to dream of, and she shares her journey in her memoir No Rules. Tired of being told what to do and exactly how to do it, when to come home, who to hang out with--rules, rules everywhere, so at the age of 15, that’s exactly what she and her sister planned to do: They would pack up and
Jul 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Right away, I was drawn to this memoir for the insight it would give me into a young woman’s life in the early 1970’s. The book follows Sharon after she runs away from home to pursue a “dream life,” out in California. Readers get a very real and honest look at what that looks like, as Sharon writes about hitch hiking, living on a commune, the men she encounters, and all of the things that come along with the hippy movement of the times. -

I often found myself forgetting this was a memoir. The thi
Carrie Echols
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book tells the story of a teenage girl growing up in the late 60's and early 70's. Sharon runs away from home at age 15 to meet up with her older sister who is 21, and they head out for California. They live risky lives, delving into the world of drugs, hitchhiking, meeting people and living a hippie lifestyle. I could relate to these sisters because I was born in the same era and I enjoyed reading about their lives, and I felt worried for them. Sharon had wanted to go to college but her pa ...more
Jun 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
This memoir begins in Connecticut in 1971 when Sharon, at age 16, decides to get out of her house filled with rules and unsympathetic parents and run away to California to join the hippie culture. It's the story of the ups and downs of her life until she left her wandering life style and started college.

When she arrives in California she is thrown into an adult world that she isn't prepared for. There are lots of drugs, lots of sex and no stability to her life. She realizes that she has to learn
Jul 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Thank you to #booktrib, She Writes Press and Tina Meyers "Loves To Read" for this book.

Quite a wild ride with this book. I'd never be able to leave my family or my house at 16 and travel around the country hitchhiking, finding employment (when she could), shacking up with strangers/men and living on a commune, and anywhere else she could find with anyone she could to make ends meet when she was ages 16-18. I wasn't mature enough but obviously she did it and seemed to enjoy it for the most part.
Lainey Cameron
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A raw, heartfelt, and fascinating memoir.

This is the true story of Sharon Dukett leaving home at 16 years old during the 1970s and moving to California, then across the US during the counter-culture revolution. And ultimately of her awakening to feminism at a time when many women were finding her own strength and purpose in a male-dominated society.

A story of a strong woman, carving her way in a world where sex and drugs are everywhere, and sexism just as prevalent.

Written with a raw and disarm
Bookish Heidi
Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
"For most of us, the line between the destinations in our lives is seldom a straight one.".

This is a tough one to review because how do you review someone's life story? I'll do my best though. I don't generally like memoirs but I really enjoyed this one. It was a taste of a different kind of life than we're all used to. It's raw and emotional and really tugs on your heartstrings.

Sharon left home at 16 to get away from her extremely Catholic parents and the nonlife they had planned for her. She
Miss W Book Reviews
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
No Rules by Sharon Dukett is an incredible memoir. The setting is in Connecticut (where I grew up ) and is set in the early 1970's . There are alternating timelines between the 70's and to the future.

Sharon explores the Hippie lifestyle .

At times, I forgot I was reading a memoir and this was a testament to the author's excellent writing.

It was really interesting reading not only Sharon's experience but also the time period she wrote about.

I recommend this poignant memoir.
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was utterly captivated by the words from this no holds barred memoir looking back on Sharon Dukett’s life growing up and breaking free from her parents rule to navigate the world as a free spirit.

Her stories are ones that will shock you, make you feel pity and make you feel proud. It’s powerful storytelling tells you of one person fighting within themselves to find happiness, freedom & the rights of equality, all while maturing on her own from a child into a woman.

Sharon ran away from home wit
Tina Rae
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
So I picked this one up because I have always been fascinated by the 70s. And this was literally a study of the 70s and what it was like to grow up there and come of age during that time period. And let tell you... it was STRESSFUL. How did they not all die???? The hitchhiking, the drugs, the sketchy strangers. The 70s was a different world, man. And I was stressed out just reading about it, haha.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this story and this look through the eyes of someone who lived it. The road
Nancy Teed
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I had the good fortune to read an advance reader copy of Sharon Dukett’s memoir, No Rules. This book reads as if you’re sitting with a good friend while they recount in vivid detail memories of growing up in the midst of the turbulent early 1970s. Prepare for some late nights – I often found the book difficult to put down.

The author takes you with her as she escapes the constructs of her parent’s view of the ‘right path’ for a young woman. Her future, if she were to remain at home was clear and
Tiffany  Stewart
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this book! It was the perfect summer read! I couldnt put it down. It's about a 16 year old teenager in the 60s/70s that decides that her parents conservative and catholic ways are not for her. Which at some point in our own teen lives we can all say that we all felt the same way about our parents. She sets out on her own journey to find herself and explore the world and all it has to offer her! She gives us all the details about her encounter with love, sex, relationship ...more
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced reader copy of No Rules: A Memoir and enjoyed the journey it took me on. It was a glimpse into a different world than the one I was raised in.

I was born in the early 90's and turned 16 in the mid-2000's. It felt like there was almost an element of culture shock from how I spent my mid-late teen years compared to Sharon's journey. It drew me in and gave me much to think and reflect on.

I would highly recommend No Rules to everyone. It provides a unique look into american s
Nik's Nook
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's the 1970s, and sixteen-year-old Sharon Dukett decides that the only way to live her life for herself is to run away from her controlling, Catholic parents. She escapes to California, along with her older sister, and quickly realizes that, no matter where she goes, people will always try to control her life. Through trials and tribulations, literal highs and lows with both friends and lovers, Sharon learns how to navigate through the world and how to stand up for herself during a time when t ...more
Lindy Ryan
Jul 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
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.

Colorful, 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
Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
You know I love a good memoir and today I want to share this one! No Rules by Sharon Dukett is a very open, and honest memoir. She says at the end she was afraid to expose her life because it would hurt her career or credibility. But then she realized that when she read memoirs by others, she didn’t think less of them. I find that so true, because someone’s life is their life, and theirs alone. You may relate to certain things they went through or had similarities or be shocked by their choices ...more
Lesli Lejeune
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever read a book that you want to tell all your girlfriends to read? Well, this is one of those books for me. I actually learned about it on my friend, Amber's, Instagram account and immediately ordered it from Amazon. I started reading it on Saturday morning and did not finish til that evening with a few breaks to eat and run to Target. I did not want to put this book down. I am 10 years younger than the author and I have never hitchhiked a day in my life or dropped acid, but I still f ...more
Shannon (The Book Club Mom)
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
No Rules by Sharon Dukett is one of the most enjoyable memoirs I’ve ever read. When I was in high school, I was obsessed with Woodstock, ‘70s music, fashion, and the carefree vibe of that decade. What can I say? A few of my favorite movies were Almost Famous and Dazed and Confused. Hippies fascinated me, but I knew I wouldn’t last one day living that lifestyle. I like regular showers, a warm bed, and a reliable roof over my head, thank you very much. I am far too responsible, regimented, skeptic ...more
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Sharon Dukett has been a computer programmer, deputy director in state government, cocktail waitress, and project manager (PMP certified), and she has designed and embroidered handmade clothing. She travels extensively using loyalty points and avoiding tourist traps. When she is home, she and her husband live in central Connecticut in a house he built that overlooks the Connecticut River--the hous ...more

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