Rated of 5
by 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.