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With or Without You: A Memoir por Domenica…
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With or Without You: A Memoir (edição 2014)

por Domenica Ruta (Autor)

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3185764,768 (3.74)6
Domenica Ruta grew up in a working-class, unforgiving town north of Boston, in a trash-filled house on a dead-end road surrounded by a river and a salt marsh. Her mother, Kathi, a notorious local figure, was a drug addict and sometimes dealer whose life swung between welfare and riches. And yet she managed, despite the chaos she created, to instill in her daughter a love of stories. Despite the fact that there was not a book to be found in her household, Domenica developed a love of reading, which helped her believe that she could transcend this life of undying grudges, self-inflicted misfortune, and the crooked moral code that Kathi and her cohorts lived by. With or Without You is the story of Domenica Ruta's unconventional coming of age and the necessary and painful act of breaking away, and of overcoming her own addictions and demons in the process.… (mais)
Membro:willowtree1990
Título:With or Without You: A Memoir
Autores:Domenica Ruta (Autor)
Informação:Spiegel & Grau (2014), 240 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:*****
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

Informação Sobre a Obra

With or Without You: A Memoir por Domenica Ruta

  1. 00
    Townie por Andre III Dubus (TheAmpersand)
    TheAmpersand: Another midlife memoir about growing up in tough circumstances in the Boston area by two authors who have unlikely connections to the worlds of wealth and academic privilege. Dubus's book is the more linear narrative, while Ruta's story, page for page, features more bad behavior interpersonal chaos. Both authors share how writing helped them survive their chaotic upbringings.… (mais)
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I read With or Without You by Domenica Ruta as a NetGalley offering. This memoir recounts the life of Domenica (Nikki) from childhood through her early adult years. Hers was not the normal life since she grew up with a mother who used drugs and dealt drugs. Through the years her mother even amazingly amassed a million dollar fortune only to squander it and live in squalor. This is the same mother who thought it best for her daughter Nikki to get pregnant as a teenager.

Unfortunately, Nikki suffered from the effects of such upbringing and seemed to have little self-esteem. In spite of all of this, she was a good student. She escaped her mother and Danvers, Massachusetts by going to college only to fall into the same habits as her mother by using drugs and drinking alcohol.

Nikki’s life story is not a pleasant one to tell. I certainly give her credit for writing this memoir full of heart-breaking traumatic events. I suffered along with her while reading. Given that, as I was reading, many times I felt it difficult to follow the strands of her life because of the awkward transitions and the abrupt changes in the recounting of events from one time period in her life to another. Many times I wasn’t sure of the time and place of the event mentioned. I know that she indicated some effort at journaling but also did wonder how clear she was about all of the events that took place when she was under the influence of drugs and alcohol herself. All in all, this memoir offers the reader an insight into the workings of a very dysfunctional family.

( )
  Rdglady | Nov 20, 2018 |
For anyone who enjoys midlife or recovery memoirs, "With or Without You" will cover some pretty familiar ground. It features unstable living situations, irresponsible behavior, and a young person's slow but inevitable realization that others may not consider their home life typical. However, the book also goes to a few places that these sorts of books don't go to, most obviously Phillips Andover, but also deep inside the relationship the author had with her mother, who rivals "Mommie Dearest" Joan Crawford in her sheer emotional cruelty and Amy Winehouse in her enthusiasm for mind-altering substances. Predictably, as she's referred to directly in the title, the author's mother casts a long shadow over both this book and the author's life. Kathi -- yes! It's spelt with a "i"! -- comes off as an astonishingly vain, chaotic, and destructive personality. Like the author, she seems to have had an eye for telling social differences -- she's something of a stage mom without the stage, always on the lookout for what might help her to climb her region's social ladder, and to use a terrible neologism, she's also a sort of malevolent helicopter parent who keeps her daughter on a painfully short emotional leash. But, perversely enough, she also lends this book a lot of its energy. In "With or Without You," she often seems like an uncanny embodiment of the constant, exhausting struggle to survive at the lower end of the income scale in lots of less-than-glamorous New England towns. She lacks neither energy nor initiative -- at one point she turns a failing taxi stand into a million-dollar business -- but most of her energy's directed toward getting high, filling her house with random objects, and carrying on a messy and ultimately mercenary social life. The reader comes away from "With or Without You" with the idea that being raised on the wrong side of Danvers was, for the author, defined by fever-pitch emotional intensity and near-constant disorder. Perhaps readers shouldn't expect a completely unbiased portrait of any author's mother, but the fact that Domenica Ruta can describe her upbringing's emotional tone and often outlandish particulars more-or-less impersonally is really a credit to her skill as a writer. She made it out of her grisly childhood with something like a coherent narrative, and considering what we're told in this book, that's no mean feat.

The author, of course, faces the same challenges than most of her family did, and some that seem unique to her: how do you mature when nobody bothered to raise you? How do you get clean when your mother not only accepted but facilitated to most of your substance abuse experiences? At the same time, when you come from the wrong side of the tracks but have the sheer intellectual ability to drink and snort your way through a prestigious prep school and two liberal arts colleges, where does that leave you in terms of class? And in a sense, "With or Without You" is very much about class as it's currently thought about in America -- what it means to get ahead or fall behind in the twenty-first century. The author seems to have experienced both extremes in her comparatively short lifetime. She saves herself using a well-known grassroots twelve-step program, and people in the recovery community who dislike that approach may not love that section of this book. But as a reader and as a person, I can't remember the last time I was so glad to see a main character survive a narrative. You get a sense, at the end of this one, that she's found answers to questions that weren't put to most of the people she went to school with. And that's commendable in and of itself. ( )
1 vote TheAmpersand | Sep 27, 2018 |
Another recovery memoir. Domenica writes about growing up with a single mother who is an addict and has no problem offering drugs to her daughter. She runs through boyfriends/drug dealers regularly. Linda recommended this. It was a quick read, rather funny, sardonic and sadly a familiar story. ( )
  camplakejewel | Sep 20, 2017 |
It never ceases to amaze me how many crazy people are out there and the children who can survive the craziness! This is an interesting tale of such craziness. Kudos to the author for overcoming her childhood. ( )
  karconner | Jul 5, 2016 |
A young girl whose mother was an unwed drug addict grew up in Danvers, MA eventually getting into Phillips Academy boarding school before dealing with addiction herself. ( )
  micahmom2002 | Jan 25, 2016 |
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Domenica Ruta grew up in a working-class, unforgiving town north of Boston, in a trash-filled house on a dead-end road surrounded by a river and a salt marsh. Her mother, Kathi, a notorious local figure, was a drug addict and sometimes dealer whose life swung between welfare and riches. And yet she managed, despite the chaos she created, to instill in her daughter a love of stories. Despite the fact that there was not a book to be found in her household, Domenica developed a love of reading, which helped her believe that she could transcend this life of undying grudges, self-inflicted misfortune, and the crooked moral code that Kathi and her cohorts lived by. With or Without You is the story of Domenica Ruta's unconventional coming of age and the necessary and painful act of breaking away, and of overcoming her own addictions and demons in the process.

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