Day is a witty and likable writer, just the right side of self-deprecating, and alert to the contradictions of having great success as an authority on failure. She argues, rightly, that “there is no hierarchy of distress”. Anyone can fall down the yawning gap between their aspirations and their achievements; anyone can mourn their unlived life. Worse than mere disappointment, failure exposes our dreams as dead ends. It is a mortifying reckoning with the complacent fictions we have built around ourselves. Day is thoughtful and probing about what success really amounts to, and why it is rarely the answer to our problems that we mistook it for. Failure, in her book, makes us aware that there are numberless ways of living a life well.