With or Without You by Caroline Leavitt

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
With or Without You book with painted woman
White library with lots of stairs and "Contemporary" text

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Oh wow, this book is a beautiful, emotional story that feels like a real view into someone’s life. With or Without You is a look into a middle-aged life that hasn’t gone quite as expected. As events unfold, the reflection on where one’s life is now and where one thought it would be take the reader on a beautiful journey!

The characters are the stand out win from this story. You get to know them and you connect with them, and you ultimately cry and celebrate with them. I loved that this story made you friends with the characters. While this was an emotional journey, this is still a light at the end of the tunnel, and the character growth throughout the story provides the reader with satisfied and comforted feeling.

I thought this was an absolutely lovely story that sucked me in quickly, and captivated me the whole way through. Readers that enjoy an emotional journey for a character will enjoy this one!

Where to Find This Book:

Amazon ~ Goodreads


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?

Just the Facts:

With or Without You by Caroline Leavitt
Genre: General Fiction
Page Count: 288 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Pub Date: August 4, 2020

Caroline Leavitt is the award-winning author of twelve novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Pictures of You and Is This Tomorrow. Her essays and stories have been included in New York magazine, Psychology Today, More, Parenting, Redbook, and Salon. She’s a book critic for People, the Boston Globe, and the San Francisco Chronicle, and she teaches writing online at Stanford and UCLA.

Author Links:
Instagram ~ Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook


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I was provided a gifted copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.

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