With or Without You
Description"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 After almost twenty years together, Stella and Simon are starting to run into problems. An up-and-coming rock musician when they first met, Simon has been clinging to dreams of fame even as the possibility of it has grown dimmer, and now that his band might finally be on the brink again, he wants to go on the road, leaving Stella behind. But when she falls into a coma on the eve of his departure, he has to make a choice between stardom and his wife--and when she wakes a different person, with an incredible artistic talent of her own, the two of them must examine what it is that they really want. Unapologetically honest and intimately written, With or Without You is a contemporary story of what happens to relationships as the people in them change, whether slowly or in one cataclysmic swoop.
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About the AuthorCaroline 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.
"A wonderful novel about life as mess and disappointment, life as catastrophe and regret, but also life as transformation and resilience. Leavitt's characters are great company, and watching them find a way forward in their suddenly altered world is a joy. Deeply engaging, tense but hopeful, and completely recommended."
--Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
--Christopher Castellani, author of Leading Men "Caroline Leavitt has accomplished in With or Without You the hardest but most profound task of the novelist: she makes us not only understand but care about characters as flawed as ourselves. Stella, Simon, and Libby straddle the ravine between hip urbanity and soulful vulnerability--each achieving a redemption that gives us hope that we might too."
--Lisa Gornick, author of The Peacock Feast "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, New York Times bestselling author of Circe "What a compelling, wonderful read this book is. With or Without You asks the great question of what happens to a long-loving couple if one of them changes utterly. This novel gives us high drama while keeping the fairest possible view of the messy lives of these characters. Another triumph for Caroline Leavitt."
--Joan Silber, bestselling author of Improvement "Caroline Leavitt's new novel With or Without You seduced me instantly and held my heart from the first page to the last. Like Elena Ferrante's raw and intimate explorations into human relationships, this novel will make you laugh, cry, yell, and possibly more. At the heart of the story is the art of a woman's life, pulsing with beauty, desire, loss, never-ending change, and the grit it takes to keep going."
--Lidia Yuknavitch, bestselling author of The Book of Joan "It was if I were falling in love: flushed, fascinated, filled with hope, fear and joy. Leavitt's exploration of the many ways in which we change over the course of a lifetime--and how we keep or lose those we love throughout these mutations--is compassionate, profound and moving. Beyond being utterly captivated, I felt like I had grown wiser and more humane after reading this beautiful novel."
--Jean Kwok, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Translation "In With or Without You, Caroline Leavitt once again explores disaster's aftermath and its affect on the lives of ordinary people tethered by love and shared history. What makes this novel so poignant, and also makes it feel so true, is that there is no going back. There is only now, the newness of their altered realities and the courage to continue."
--Helen Schulman, bestselling author of This Beautiful Life and Come with Me "This fresh, engaging, intimate tale of love and identity subverts the reader's expectations again and again. Caroline Leavitt refuses to take one clichéd turn. A complete original, an absolute delight."
--Janet Fitch, author of Chimes of a Lost Cathedral and White Oleander "After all of their lives are irrevocably altered by a single tragic incident, Stella, Simon, and Libby--the major characters in Caroline Leavitt's compelling, deeply moving new novel--are forced to make complex choices between freedom and responsibility, love and loyalty. Leavitt depicts her characters without judgment, and by doing so compels readers to ask themselves what they might do in such difficult moments."
--Ron Rash, author of The Risen