Published by Algonquin BooksDate Published: 4 August, 2020
Genres: Contemporary Fiction
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“Leavitt has crafted an irresistible portrait of midlife ennui and the magic of breaking free.” —People
“With or Without You is a moving novel about twists of fate, the shifting terrain of love, and coming into your own. With tenderness and incisive insight, Leavitt spotlights a woman's unexpected journey towards her art.” —Madeline Miller, author of Circe
A Best Book of the Month: Bustle * PopSugar
New York Times bestselling author Caroline Leavitt writes novels that expertly explore the struggles and conflicts that people face in their search for happiness. For the characters in With or Without You, it seems at first that such happiness can come only at someone else’s expense. Stella is a nurse who has long suppressed her own needs and desires to nurture the dreams of her partner, Simon, the bass player for a rock band that has started to lose its edge. But when Stella gets unexpectedly ill and falls into a coma just as Simon is preparing to fly with his band to Los Angeles for a gig that could revive his career, Simon must learn the meaning of sacrifice, while Stella’s best friend, Libby, a doctor who treats Stella, must also make a difficult choice as the coma wears on.
When Stella at last awakes from her two-month sleep, she emerges into a striking new reality where Simon and Libby have formed an intense bond, and where she discovers that she has acquired a startling artistic talent of her own: the ability to draw portraits of people in which she captures their innermost feelings and desires. Stella’s whole identity, but also her role in her relationships, has been scrambled, and she has the chance to form a new life, one she hadn’t even realized she wanted.
A story of love, loyalty, loss, and resilience, With or Without You is a page-turner that asks the question, What do we owe the other people in our lives, and when does the cost become too great?
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Author/Publisher and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.
Wow! What a fabulous read! Leavitt has hit the ball out of the park with this one! From start to finish I was hooked on this page turning read, and I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to keep turning pages long after the last one was read.
Simon and Stella are characters that you just easily fall in love with. They are flawed, they are chiseled beautifully and they are perfect for their roles. I felt my heart tug for both of them. I felt my heart twist when Simon had difficult decisions to make. I felt it ache for Stella as she battled her coma and waking up to unknown situations.
These characters and their story absolutely twisted me up and threw me into a wild, emotional roller coaster. When it ended, I was breathless and questioning some of my own choices in life. That’s absolutely amazing when an author can do that to me.
If you want an emotional, roller coaster, page turning novel, then you need to grab this incredibly written book up now. Leavitt has a superb talent for writing a book that plays out like a movie on the big screen. Her novel will envelope you and keep you hooked until the last 4 star page is turned.