Customer Reviews for

With Or Without You

Average Rating 4
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted February 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Living with an alcoholic drug addict. Domenica Ruta's memoir ab

    Living with an alcoholic drug addict.

    Domenica Ruta's memoir about growing up in Danves Massachusetts, with her alcoholic, druggie mother, was an eye opening read. Often I felt that the young Domenica (Nikki) was caring for her mother rather than the other way around. Even as a youngster, Nikki was encouraged to drink alcohol and ingest Oxycontin and as a teenager, her mother was recommending pregnancy for her young daughter.

    Nikki was intelligent enough to realise that her only escape would be through education and she earned herself the scholarships that enabled her to attend good schools and obtain a degree. Her childhood never left her however, as she became more and more ensnared by alcohol. For ten years she lived in government housing, struggling through her days in an alcoholic stupor. Eventually she found a group of recovering alcoholics and a fair portion of the book describes the depression that she fought as a by product of recovery.

    Meanwhile Niiki's mother was calling her daughter incessantly, ranting and raving down the phone, until the only recourse left was to break all ties and have no contact at all. This was a powerful love/hate relationship, even thousands of miles apart, Nikki was drawn to her disfunctional parent.

    It is a tragic tale which left me wondering how people like Nikki's mother were even allowed to raise children in the first place. One would hope that these days the children would be rescued but I'm sure there are still some who slip through the net.

    This book reminded me of Unravelling Anne by Laurel Saville (3.5 stars).

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2013

    I was sad when it was over

    This is an excellent memoir. She is laugh out loud funny in some parts and sit back and contemplate in others. Brutally honest writing ..just how a memoir should be. The life of an addict from the outside in and from the inside out. I'm sad it's over.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Memoirs are one my favorite genres of literature especially thos

    Memoirs are one my favorite genres of literature especially those dealing with "real people." The line which hooked me into reading this book was ",,,and she grow-up in Danvers, MA." where my children and husband shared her hometown. Danvers is not a poor mill town and not all houses are falling down but just the opposite. It is a town which does not forgive if you are not part of the cookie cutter pattern of the social leaders of the Commmunity.

    As Ms. Ruta described her experience at St. Mary's School, I felt her pain because an outsider can shunned in this town. Her Mother, Kathi was certainly larger than life; a former Glory Girl of Danvers High School. She had visions of grandeur for her daugher. Domenica becoming a well educated single mother. Kathi made me laugh with her narcissism behavior and cry when the disease of alcoholism and drug addicition took over the life of a woman who did have a good business mind.

    Ms. Ruta wriiting of her own life was heart wrenching and wished that some one in her tribe of lunatics would have come to her rescue. How she was able to overcome her childhood and own addiction and become such a talent writer is beyond my scope.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    One of the best memoirs I've read.  

    One of the best memoirs I've read.  

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book

    Fun read. Full of emotional twists and turns. I loved it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Memoirs about people growing up in tough family situations are a

    Memoirs about people growing up in tough family situations are abundant. I just reviewed Jeanette Winterson's poetic Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?, and Jeanette Walls' The Glass Castle is a book I reviewed and recommended to many people over the past few years.
    Domenica Ruta's With Or Without You is a searing, honest look at her life growing up with a mother who was an alcoholic and drug addict, and wanted her daughter to have the same life. Her mother kept Domenica home from school to watch classic movies; she felt this was a better education for her daughter.
    The book opens with the mother, Kathleen, taking her young daughter along while she bashed in the windshield of romantic rival's car. The destruction she placed upon that woman's car is a metaphor for the destruction she would wreak upon her daughter's life.
    Like Winsterson, literature and books became a savior for Domenica."Reading seemed to be a skill I'd somehow picked up on my own. In an extended family where people stumbled- and stumbled proudly- over three-syllable words, such a drooling little fiend for literature was endearing to no one. (It should be noted that even the most illiterate of my clan knew their way around a food stamp application, a subpoena, and a workman's compensation claim. We were nothing if not adroit at manipulating the system.)"
    As she grew up, her mother did her best to lure Domenica into her drug-addicted lifestyle. Domenica did her best to avoid it, but eventually she succumbed. She believed that going to college and getting away from her mother would save her. If only her mother didn't send care packages of drugs to college with her.
    Domenica writes honestly of her struggles with alcohol, drugs and her inability to have a romantic relationship. She runs away to Texas believing that only distance from her mother can save her. But her mother calls constantly, begging for money, pushing the guilt, harassing her daughter until the only thing Domenica can do is cut off all ties to her mother.
    I particularly enjoyed the chapter where she worked as a recreation aide in a nursing home. She felt comfortable with those people, more at home with them than with her younger friends. She writes lovingly of a man named Saul who has lost his wife of sixty years, who became her compatriot.
    With Or Without You will hit home with anyone who has had addiction issues or lived with anyone with addiction issues. Domenica Ruta writes with a clear-eyed honesty, which is remarkable considering how drunk and drugged up she was at times. Her decision to cut ties with the woman who gave her life and raised her probably saved her life, but is heartbreaking for her nonetheless. We don't know at the end whether Domenica will make it, but her journey is unforgettable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    I was reluctant to read yet another memoir about an abusive and

    I was reluctant to read yet another memoir about an abusive and crazy mother but this one was well worth every second and more - i flew through it and wanted more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2013

    so so

    Not quite what I was expecting. Some clever writing but the story could have been told in half the space.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2013

    Book rate

    Not as good as ice burg. Could be better

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    booksbysteph says "You Can See a Part of Yourself in Her Tr

    booksbysteph says "You Can See a Part of Yourself in Her True Life Stories"

    Domenica Ruta had a love/hate relationship with her mother. Highly dysfunctional. Born to teenage parents and raised in a drug house, it does not surprise that she turned to drugs as well. Yet she maintained this incredible mind and gift of knowledge. Her mother always found a way to give her the best of everything including fancy boarding schools (with the help of scholarships) yet resented the fact Domenica was so far away from her. 

    Her mother needed her in a way that psychiatrists can properly define and Domenica had an overwhelming desire to be loved by her mother. If Domenica achieved in one thing, her mother focused on her failure of another or made her feel like a failure. It took a lot of strength and 1400 miles to decide to cut her mother from her life and she did not make it easy on Domenica. Domenica never thought her gallon a day drinking habit was a problem. 

    I GIVE THIS BOOK: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars

    Each chapter has many stories and you will find yourself connecting to the stories in some way. I desperately wanted my mother to love me but I could never life up to her ever-changing and unreachable standards. Fortunately, I refused to even try any drugs because I knew I would become lost in a sea of glossy-eyed stoners. When I finally realized, like Domenica, that my life was less toxic without my mother in it, the pain does not get easier with each passing day. While Domenica is trying to overcome her battles with alcohol, I am dealing with issues associated with Depression. 

    Writing this book was most likely very difficult and emotional to write. Remembering stories of her loved ones. In a good story, there was a twist of bad and in a bad story there was a glimpse of good. I praise Domenica for her courage to write this book and the strength to overcome her challenges - one day at a time. 

    Until next time, live life one page at a time!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2013

    This is real stuff!

    I appreciate the sharing that Domenica has painfully shared. This book reminded me so much of "Glass Castle" because of the raw things she had to admit to herself as well as her readers. While it is unbelievable that she made it out of this childhood alive she has will help all of us come to terms with things we had no control over and heal.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    I truly enjoyed reading this beautiful & tragic memoir. It o

    I truly enjoyed reading this beautiful & tragic memoir. It opens your eyes to a life of hardship, struggle, and recovery. This book is  a wonderful read that I would recommend to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2013

    Great read

    Great read! Loved Domenica Ruta's insight into dysfunctional families and way with words like "Denial and the desire to self-destruct are elemental cousins; mining one yields the other in equal proportion". Hopefully, there will be a sequel because dying to know how her journey ends with her Mom. Highly recommend - especially if you're from New England since she describes natives so humorously well.

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  • Posted March 17, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    OMG¿. This book blew me right out of the water. It touched a lit

    OMG…. This book blew me right out of the water. It touched a little close to home as well.
    This is a brilliant mother daughter memoir, one of the best I have ever read, do yourself a favor and go out today and pick up This book!

    As one reviewer put it “Freakishly brilliant, brilliantly freakish”
    This is the heartbreaking story of Domenica (Nikki) and her mother Kathi as they careen Through life in the 90’s trying to find purchase somewhere.
    Kathi is a sometime drug dealer who is addicted to drugs, alcohol, damaged men and hard times.
    Nikki is right behind her sharing her mothers drugs when offered or even worse pushed on her. They live in a crusty house filled with trash inside and out in Boston. Kathi goes through men and jobs, Nikki goes though schools and friends. Both trying to find their way.
    This book is filled with damaged love…a mother on a course of self destruction who tries to save and destroy her daughter all in the same day. Mother & daughter are extremely close in a not right kind of way. Kathi does try to instill in young Nikki that life sucks but, if you look real close and try really hard you might get lucky and see something beautiful out of all the ugliness.
    Nikki learns later in life that to truly love her mother she must let her go and forgive.
    Domenica is a truly gifted writer and I look forward to her next book.

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  • Posted March 8, 2013

    Never read memoirs but something in the description of this one

    Never read memoirs but something in the description of this one caught my eye.


    I’m glad it did since it contains little gems of sentences like -- Shards of experience still hot with life singe the brain wherever they happen to get embedded. – Some reviewers use brutal to describe this memoir but I’d go more with heartbreaking. Very well done. Received free copy for review

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2013

    ?

    Plot spoilers ruined this one.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2013

    great book

    Hope to read more from this talented writer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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