Read advance reader review of With or Without You by Caroline Leavitt

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With or Without You

A Novel

by Caroline Leavitt

With or Without You by Caroline Leavitt X
With or Without You by Caroline Leavitt
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  • Published Aug 2020
    288 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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There are currently 35 member reviews
for With or Without You
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  • Di Wolter
    Started late one night and read all the way through!
    I really enjoyed this book and once I opened it, I read it straight through to the end. I loved all of the characters with all their strengths and challenges and dreams, and how it addressed the complexity of relationships that begin, grow, change based on life's goals and dreams. I definitely recommend this as a not-too-heavy summer read!
  • Linda Z. (Melville, NY)
    Change and Chance
    WOW! Caroline Leavitt, author of "With or Without You" has written a captivating, intense, emotional, memorable, intriguing, and poignant story. The genres for this novel are Domestic Fiction, Dramatic Fiction, Women's Fiction with a dash of romance, and suspense. The timeline for this story is set in the present and goes to the past and future when it pertains to the characters or events.  Caroline Leavitt describes her dramatic characters as complicated, complex, flawed, dysfunctional, and each carries their own set of problems. I love the way Caroline Leavitt vividly describes her characters, events, scenery, and plot. Despite twists and turns, everything concludes in a well-planned story that keeps the reader's attention.

    Stella, a nurse, and Simon,  a musician have been together as a couple for twenty years. Their relationship is starting to show signs of change. Simon has an opportunity to go on the road and be a musician for a few days. This could be an opportunity for Simon to have his fame and glory as in the earlier days. Stella has a cold and is trying to communicate what she wants. They talk and drink, and Stella passes out. Simon gets her to the hospital where Stella goes into a coma.

    Simon has to decide whether to go on the road or stay with Stella. When Stella comes out of her coma, everything is different. Stella has problems remembering many things but has a compulsion and obsession to draw. She becomes very artistic, which she wasn't before. The pictures that Stella draws and paints, get better and better, and it almost is like Stella is seeing what is inside the person she is painting.

    I appreciate that the author discusses the importance of family, friends, communication, self-worth, and self-growth. She also talks about the importance of love, respect, second chances, forgiveness, and hope. I would highly recommend this thought-provoking story.
  • Mary Lou F. (Naples, FL)
    Excellent read. A person changes through many extenuating circumstances. Due to brain damage main character becomes an artist who can see people as they really are. She also sees how she is and all the people around her are. Good read right to the end.
  • Susan T. (Bahama, NC)
    Absolutely loved this book
    I loved this book so much I spent the entire day reading until I finished it. The story was so compelling. I think anyone who has experienced being in a relationship where one or both people change for whatever reason would be able to relate to this book. The same holds true for anyone with complicated relationships with their parents. I really loved that it wasn't some kind of morality story, but rather the author treated the characters as real people with all their flaws and without judgement. I also liked how each character came to a new understanding of their parents during the story. I can't wait to go read something else Caroline Leavitt has written!
  • Mary L. (Greeley, CO)
    Complex characters one comes to love
    Characters, who at may first appear unsympathetic, change and grow as the novel progresses, both in surprising and complex ways. That depth depicts the way we humans can both complicate and untangle our lives. As life circumstances and crises bring complications for these characters, life also opens new opportunities for both relational and personal growth. The relationships may not turn out the way a reader may hope, yet hope resonates throughout the novel, including at the end. Reading the novel may even give a reader an opportunity to examine his or her own personal growth and relationships, past and present.
  • Susan H. (Mount Kisco, NY)
    she does it again!
    i really like leavitt's books - the characters are real people with real life issues. and that is again true here. it is a perfect way to spend quarantine .
  • Iris F. (Warren, FL)
    With or Without You
    With or Without You was a perfect book for a shelter at home binge read. It grabbed my attention from the very beginning and never let go.

    It started with an argument between Stella and Simon, a very happy and loving couple. The conflict was put aside due to a medical emergency. What follows is the journey of Stella, Simon and Libby, Stella's best friend.

    One of the things I liked about this book was that none of these people was vilified. They were all likeable and relatable. Nor were they portrayed as flawless. The ending was unpredictable which added to the enjoyment of the book.

    Though not the deepest book it is perfect for the times. I don't think this book would struggle for an audience.


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