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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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Page 3 of 5
There are currently 35 member reviews
for With or Without You
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  • Veronica E. (Chesterton, IN)
    You can read a synopsis about WITH OR WITHOUT YOU. The storyline is not what pulled me into the novel. It was each individual character. Simon, Stella, and Libby's personalities are so very different and you just don't know until you turn the page how each individual is going to react to what is happening around them. That is what got me turning the pages. Even Simon's parents and Stella's mom you have to turn the page to figure out who these people are and what they are going to do. You couldn't guess (as sometimes you can) as to how they were going to handle what was facing them. It wasn't obvious. I wanted to find out the reactions of each character in each particular situation. How they individually responded to the coma, to changing the way each one was living their life. How they looked upon themselves being selfish, in love, life changes. That's what made me feel this was a good novel.
  • Robyn W. (Naples, FL)
    With or Without You
    At first, I didn't like With or Without You. Stella and Simon had been married for twenty-two years and two more unlikely partners would be hard to find. Simon was a musician and did not want anything to interfere with his life including Stella's wish for a family, a house and financial security. Stella, a nurse, initially was willing to travel on Simon's tours but found herself isolated and no longer wanted to be involved in his lifestyle. So they decided to do drugs to reignite their relationship and what followed was catastrophic.

    This book takes a poignant look into the three main characters - their foibles, their strengths, their regrets, and finally their redemption. It examines the changing relationships between husbands and wives, lovers, and friends as they navigate through self discovery, loyalties, betrayals, and finally self awareness.

    Final conclusion: This novel provides an entertaining insight to life's hopes and dreams and the transformation Stella, Simon, and Libby go through to accept the reality which truly makes them happy.
  • Lil C. (Chestertown, NY)
    Something amazing can happen...
    As I read With Or Without You during the time of Coronavirus, I find I am constantly trying to manipulate the characters to be the most positive and to make what I believe is the "right" choice. Caroline Leavitt has other ideas. She has crafted characters with faults, creativity, desires, and strength that give the readers pause. Life transforms with mistakes, love and loss. A wonderful book for book clubs and to read on your own and contemplate...perhaps still today, something amazing can happen. Enjoy!
  • Marci G. (Sicklerville, NJ)
    Curveballs in Life
    Stella and Simon involved in a long term relationship are at the cusp of a life altering decision. Stay together and continue working on a stale relationship or part ways. After a reckless night of partying, Stella is in a coma. Simon stays to take care of her, potentially giving up a chance for fame in an up-and-coming band. Life for Simon becomes days of visiting Stella in the hospital and nights as a Lyft driver. Libby, a doctor and colleague of Stella's, is a character who complicates the situation. This book is about our choices in life and how life throws us curveballs and how are decisions shape our future for better or worse. I highly recommend this book Carol Leavitt never disappoints me!
  • Annette S. (Duluth, GA)
    Twists of Fate
    Stella and Simon have been married for twenty years and are encountering problems. Simon clings to a dream of becoming a rock musician and wants to "go on the road" to promote his career. Unfortunately, Stella falls into a coma and Simon has to make a choice between his wife and his possible stardom. This is a story of what happens to relationships when partners change either slowly or in one sudden swoop. A moving novel about twists of fate and is a very captivating story.
  • Liz B. (Fairview, TX)
    With or Without You
    I enjoyed this novel, a story of three people struggling to find their way in the midst of life-changing circumstances. It was very readable and I thought the characters were fairly well-developed. A bit of chick lit with some deeper moments thrown in. I wasn't a big fan of the ending; it felt like a tidy wrap-up at the end of an arduous path. It would be good for book club discussion and the all-important question, "what happens to the characters afterwards?".
  • Rose K. (Snowflake, US)
    With or Without You – A Novel for Challenging Times
    Popular writer, Caroline Leavitt, returns with a timely tale about rebuilding hopes and dreams in the aftermath of catastrophe. Stella and Simon are facing the ultimate challenge to their twenty-year relationship when a horrendous incident upends their lives. Aside from several too obvious coincidences and foreshadowing, the story effectively portrays the complex emotional burdens people endure as they attempt to reconstruct their lives.

    My major criticism is that the characters, specifically identified as being 42-years old, often appear to think and act like twenty-somethings. Then again, most of us are on unknown ground when trying to recover from disaster. In the final analysis, those actions and decisions will provide rich fodder for thoughtful readers and will make for lively group discussion.


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