Friday, November 13, 2009

The Rules of Play-Jennie Walker

The Rules of Play
Jennie Walker
Soho, Jan 1 2010, $20.00
ISBN: 9781569476253

As the cricket match between England and India occurs, she wonders about changing the rules of engagement in sports and in life. Her husband is a nice bloke caught up with the test match; so much so he explains the rules of play to his bored wife who asks him feining interest while dreaming of her lover explaining the rules of an affair to her. Her lover enjoys a bit of mystery in their trysts as if she enables him to ignore his work as a loss adjuster insurance agent. Her sixteen years old stepson wants nothing to do with her or his father as he plays by his own rules.

However, it is her marriage that has left her feeling ennui leading to her pondering whether the rules of cricket apply to the rules of an extramarital affair or for that matter life and marital and extramarital relationships. She muses whether extraordinary circumstances like hitting a seagull change the rules of cricket, which albeit implies if yes one should alos be able to change the rules of life.

The Rules of Play is not for everyone as it has an English philosophical spin that challenges what exactly are the rules of society, who made them and who is the enforcer and referee of them. The cast is purposely stereotyped to fill a specific relational role i.e., husband, lover, and stepson in the life of the narrator who not only holds the first person account focused but is the only multi dimensional character. Fans who relish something cerebrally different will relish the Rules of Play in life as cricket is unfair. To those who lose at either game.

Harriet Klausner

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