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Sally D. (Racine, WI)
Not another Glass Castle
While I admire Domenica Ruta's way with words, this book did not hold my interest. Humorous at times, rather disgusting at others, ultimately it felt like just another story of a horrific childhood that went on way too long. At first the story seemed somewhat fascinating but it didn't go anywhere except to more of the same. At three quarters through the book, I fought hard to finish it. I kept waiting for the "aha" moment that taught a profound lesson but it never seemed to come. Yes, she finally found sobriety and that is terrific but it came too late in the book for me.
Gwendolyn D. (Houston, TX)
Good but not what I expected
I was originally attracted to this book by its title. Having grown up on U2, this title evoked a certain sentimental yearning that I associate with the U2 song of the same title. Needless to say, the book is nothing like the song. This is a tough-to-read memoir that tells the story of the author's gritty and difficult childhood. The memoir is well-written, but I was so sad for this little girl and what she was forced to lived through that I had a hard time finishing the book. A masterful accomplishment, for sure, but emotionally draining to read.
Jacqueline S. (Gladstone, MO)
Not For Me
I started this book and gave it to page 70, but it really was not my cup of tea. I passed it on to a friend who loved it and read it in one weekend! I read to mostly escape, and this story was gritty, real and not for me!
Vicky R. (Cumming, GA)
Courage and survival
I had to continue to remind myself that this story was nonfiction. It's hard for most of us to imagine that someone - a little girl - can grow up in this environment and not only survive but end up thriving (although obviously not without emotional scars). A mesmerizing story, often full of despair and sadness, but the author manages to inject it periodically with doses of comedy and laughter. If I were to be granted a wish list of people I could have lunch with...the author would top my list.
Melissa K. (Oviedo, Florida)
With or Without You
I found Domenica Ruta to be an inspiring person, who was able to overcome a horrific childhood. The book was difficult to read because the events of her life were not told in chronological order or seemingly in any logical order. The author is definitely a talented writer, but this definitely impeded my ability to really engage in the storyline.
Stephanie W. (Hudson, OH)
With or Without You
A well-written, painful to read book, With or Without You describes the author's horrific childhood with a verbally abusive, drug addicted mother, who somehow manages to provide her with a good education and the means to both ruin her own life and rescue herself. I can't say I liked the book, because it was hard to read about a child having to endure what she went through, from being raped by her "uncle" to the mortification of seeing her home through a friend's eyes. However, I wouldn't say I don't like it either. Ruta's writing makes the story compelling and beautiful, despite all of its awful, depressing details.
Sharon A. (Tierra Verde, FL)
To Be or Not To Be
Beautifully written, hard to put down, but an extremely tough story to read about. Many may be turned off about the subject matter, but we need to know about the bad things that go on in the world too. It is authors like Ms Ruta that make us aware of family dynamics that might not be a part of our world. This would be a good book for teen groups as well as professionals, as it could draw out discussions of personal experiences.
With or without you
Domenica Ruta's memoir is akin to a scab that you can't resist picking. Excruciatingly painful to read, With or without You insists that the reader continue Domenica's journey, hoping for her redemption. Ruta's description of her surroundings is hauntingly graphic. She is able to capture the people and places in a manner that is all too real. As I was rooting for her survival, I was also grieved by the choices she made that lead to her near destruction. This was an easy read in the sense that the story was compelling. I just kept wishing that it was fiction.