Read advance reader review of With or Without You by Caroline Leavitt, page 4 of 5

Summary | Reviews | More Information | More Books

With or Without You

A Novel

by Caroline Leavitt

With or Without You by Caroline Leavitt X
With or Without You by Caroline Leavitt
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published Aug 2020
    288 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this book


Page 4 of 5
There are currently 35 member reviews
for With or Without You
Order Reviews by:
  • Paula B. (Logan, NM)
    Grown Up at Last
    Oddly this book is about growing up, finally. All of the primary characters are in their 40s, so it clearly time, but not so clear to them. Each character illustrates some of the weaknesses of an affluent society where many individuals pursue life at their own pace without need to contribute or if contributing, need to do so in a manner that supports society. The characters are all good people who have not yet found their way in life. The book is interesting and draws you into three rather dysfunctional lives, all linked to each other. It is not a 'happily ever after' story in a conventional sense, but everyone is more mature and in a better place when the book ends. It also views fame from several angles, never recommending it as a lifestyle.
  • Cheryl S. (Redmond, WA)
    New Caroline Leavitt book
    Thank you to Bookbrowse for the ARC of Caroline Leavitt's new novel, With or Without You. This is a well written novel, with complex characters whose lives change drastically after a freak accident. I have read several of Caroline Leavitt's books, and recommend her highly. This would be a great novel for book clubs to discuss the choices these characters make.
  • Catharine L. (Petoskey, MI)
    With or Without You
    This is a novel about relationships. Stella, a nurse; Simon, her long-term partner - a bass player for a rock band; and Libby, a doctor and Stella's best friend. When Stella awakes from a two month coma, she is no longer interested in nursing and becomes addicted to painting portraits - seeing the person's hidden feelings. Simon tries to cope with the change and becomes closer to Libby. The emotional changes in the three are described realistically and even with their flaws and mistakes, the reader wants each one to succeed.
  • Cherryl V. (San Francisco, CA)
    Beautifully written
    Grateful to @algonquinbooks and @bookbrowse for my ARC of this incredible novel by @carolineleavitt . After being together for 20 years, Stella and Simon now find themselves at a crossroad in their relationship. Responsible Stella wants to get married and start a family, while rocker Simon is focused on reviving his languishing musical career. When Stella slips into a coma and awakens with a new personality, they are forced to question whether they still belong together. This novel was beautifully written, heartfelt but never maudlin. I couldn't put it down. Maybe it's because I'm around the same age as the protagonists but the central themes of the book — commitment, friendship, finding yourself, making peace with the past, and growing up — really resonated with me. This book was a poignant rollercoaster read. It broke my heart but it also made me wiser, humbled by all the ways people change and the resilience of the human spirit. ????????

    Also posted on IG:
  • Jane H. (Prospect, KY)
    With or Without You by Caroline Leavitt
    Leavitt is one of my fav writers, so I jumped at the chance to read this new one of her offerings. Totally absorbing story, relatable characters and an interesting dilemma faced by all three main characters. I wondered while reading if the author had been prompted to write this because of some incident relating to coma in her own life or the life of a close friend or family member. I'm not at all sure that the paths taken by the three main characters would have been ones I would have taken in the same circumstances .... but then again, how would I know, not having experienced anything similar? I read this in one afternoon sitting ... couldn't put it down. I would classify as chick lit ... but absorbing.
  • Connie L. (Bartlesville, OK)
    The Course of True Love
    Love is complicated, and so are people. Stella and Simon love each other, but they're at an impasse; they desperately want different things, and those things don't go together. Leavitt sets the stage with their argument and unresolved differences. Then something happens that changes everything. More complications arise. The characters, confused and in conflict, are believable and the story moved along, holding my interest. It's a good, solid read, and the ending was not predictable. Even though the characters were likable, I felt detached from them, and that weakened my involvement with the story.
  • Debra V. (Kenosha, WI)
    Summer beach read
    With or Without You was just an average read for me—however is is not a typical beach book because the story is unusual. Stella is married to Simon, who loves her but is a selfish former rock star. The marriage is failing but both are trying their best to hang on. After a drug mishap sends Stella into a comma everything changes. I have to say that I was not sympathetic to or engaged by any of the characters. Caroline Leavitt is a good writer so the story moves along but I am tired of stories about selfish men and the women who love them!


Become a Member

Join BookBrowse today to start discovering exceptional books!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Postcard
    The Postcard
    by Anne Berest
    Anne Berest's The Postcard — with an elegant translation from the French by Tina Cover &...
  • Book Jacket
    by Jennifer Saint
    Few cultures in history mastered the art of tragedy quite like the ancient Greeks. And very few ...
  • Book Jacket: Salvage This World
    Salvage This World
    by Michael Farris Smith
    In the near-future universe of Michael Farris Smith's Salvage This World, life-threatening ...
  • Book Jacket: Where Coyotes Howl
    Where Coyotes Howl
    by Sandra Dallas
    Where Coyotes Howl may appear to be a classically conventional historical novel — a wide-eyed ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The First Conspiracy
by Brad Meltzer & Josh Mensch
A remarkable and previously untold piece of American history—the secret plot to kill George Washington

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Little Italian Hotel
    by Phaedra Patrick

    Sunny, tender and brimming with charm, The Little Italian Hotel explores marriage, identity and reclaiming the present moment.

Win This Book
Win Girlfriend on Mars

30 Copies to Give Away!

A funny and poignant debut novel that skewers billionaire-funded space travel in a love story of interplanetary proportions.



Solve this clue:

Y S M Back A I'll S Y

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.