With or Without You: A Memoir - Domenica Ruta

Released February 26, 2013

Domenica Ruta
Spiegel and Grau

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

To really love With or Without You, I think you need that connection that ties you to the author. That prime reason that the life of a child growing up in a druggie household has appeal with the reader. I can't imagine such a life and felt sad that the author never left, that her father never got her out, and that her mother thought that was such a cool way to live. I'm a parent, so I look at it from that stance. If I knew my child was in a household where drugs were being abused, or that said child was using drugs, I would move heaven and earth to get them out of that situation. I know that's not always the case in today's world, but it angers me that so many sit by and let it continue. To that end, this book had great emotional appeal.

The writing certainly draws the reader in. I certainly felt emotional reading about this girl who grew into a pretty messed up woman, before realizing she needed help. That's when I really connected. My aunt died after years of alcoholism and despite my pleas, she never quit. I don't think she ever really tried to keep the promises she made me. Watching her dying, that was the most painful thing I've watched. I'd rather give birth than go through that again.

With or Without You is definitely a story that sticks with you. While I found the memoir easy to walk away from to do other things, I kept thinking about this girl and all the others out there in her shoes. If this book changes just one person's life, and I hope it does, it will be well worth it.


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