Advance reader reviews of With or Without You by Domenica Ruta.

With or Without You

A Memoir

By Domenica Ruta

With or Without You
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2013,
    224 pages.

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There are currently 37 member reviews
for With or Without You
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  • Lisa G. (Riverwoods, IL)


    With or Without You
    Anyone who thinks her life is bad should read this book. I have no doubt the incidents described are true but I found myself getting angry as the author followed more and more in her mother's footsteps. Although I knew that the author's life would ultimately improve enough to write this book she spent very little time on her transformation. At some point I switched from thinking "poor Nikki" when she was young to being flat out disgusted with her as she reached high school and college. By the time she cleaned up her act I really didn't care. If you are a fan of The Glass Castle and similar dysfunction parent books you will like this memoir.
  • Beth C. (Sioux Falls, SD)


    With or Without You: Memoir by Dominica Ruta
    Dominica (Nikki) Ruta was a child in the 1980s. Her parents didn't marry, but she knew them both well since they lived in the relatively small community of Danvers, MA. The title of the book, "With or Without You" comes from the song by the group U2 which was popular at the time and a favorite of Nikki and her mother, Kathi. Kathi was a drug addict who managed to live on the fringe - at one time amassing $1million and just as quickly losing it. Nikki's childhood was anything but normal. Nonetheless, she got into a prep school on scholarships and then into Oberlin College. Nikki also had a severe drug and alcohol problem.

    This is an interesting memoir, but memoirs written by ex-addicts are somewhat suspect in that one cannot be sure that there is a reliable narrator. When Nikki describes various incidences in her childhood and during her school years, it's hard to know how much she really was able to remember since she was frequently high on one form of drug or another as well as drinking excessively.

    That being said, the book is does give a fascinating glimpse into the lives of Nikki and her mother.
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