Genre: NonFiction / Memoir
Length: 224 pages
Publisher: Random House
First Published: 2013
I'm writing this review long after having read this book. I had to really rack my brain to gather up my thoughts about this book. Luckily, today, I stumbled on a quote that goes hand in hand with what this book is all about. It's a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: 'To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."
I constantly felt that's what Domenica Ruta has done all her life. Raw and crude to the core of her childhood existence she gives you a view of her life that is beyond inspiration. It's hilarious. It's mind-baffling. At times, it's even down-right craze she even got out of her circumstances, but she did.
"Domenica Ruta grew up in Danvers, Massachusetts, in a ramshackle, rundown, trash-filled house with her mother, a drug dealer and user who raised Domenica on a steady diet of Oxycontin. Growing up, Domenica knew she didn't fit in-she was far smarter and worse dressed than everyone else she knew, and she clearly had the most flamboyant mother of anyone in town-but she found solace in writing and reading. As she grew older, though, and as her mother's behavior grew increasingly outrageous and her home life increasingly untenable, Domenica fled Danvers only to become ensnared by the demons of addiction.
A thoroughly textured and masterfully written book, layered with wildly colorful characters, a biting sense of humor, and penetrating, deeply sympathetic insights, With or Without You finally ends with Domenica's increasing awareness that she must leave the life she grew up with in order to survive." (GoodReads)
Strung with the topic of drug abuse and other addictions, her mother dominated Domenica's life. For better or for worse, her mother influenced her in great ways. Their relationship was many times brutal to experience throughout the book. Nevertheless, Domenica triumphed over all their obstacles. That's what the book is more or less.
I highly recommend this piece of biography. Exceptional writing. Incredible story-telling. Gripping survival.