"Thoughts of Joy..." can be found here.
Anything goes. That's what I gleaned from this book. I chose to read this as a reference book for me as a teacher, not as a writer. Therein lays the reason for my rating. Even though I understand and agree with all that Prose discussed, from the get-go, I just wasn't on the same page. Maybe I wasn't in the right frame of mind or thought it would be different, I'm not exactly sure, but my rating remains my rating.
I do believe that this book could be a useful tool for those that need to look at their personal writing from a new perspective. Reading though purposefully chosen excerpts to show different styles in word choice, sentence structure, paragraphing, narration, character development, dialogue, details, and gestures could definitely be a help to those in need. Her selections were well-chosen and depict exactly what she was trying to convey.
Prose also touches on the mentality of writers and how many feel trapped or compelled to follow the "rules" of writing, when those "rules" are consistently and effectively broken throughout literature. Here's how Prose relays that very same message:
"...literature not only breaks the rules, but makes us realize that there are none."
Ultimately, Prose believes (which I agree and teach) that the light that guides the path of writing and is the core encourager is ... reading.