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.
"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, internationally bestselling author of This Beautiful Life and Come With Me
“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, Pen Faulkner finalist, New York Times Bestselling author of The Risen
“With or Without You is a compulsively readable novel of artistic ambition and the various betrayals lovers and friends both endure and inflict on each other. It also asks fascinating questions about the stability of the self and our capacity – perhaps even our secret desire? – to reinvent ourselves. Caroline Leavitt is a born storyteller, and this is one knockout of a story.” --- Christopher Castellani, author of Leading Men
“When I started reading Caroline Leavitt's gorgeously written page-turner, With or Without You, I felt like 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 and Searching for Sylvie Lee
“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, The Book of Joan
"This fresh, engaging, intimate tale of love and identity subverts the reader’s expectations again and again. Caroline Leavitt refuses to take one cliche’d turn. A complete original, an absolute delight."—Janet Fitch, The Revolution of Marina M., Chimes of a Lost Cathedral.
“Caroline Leavitt has accomplished in With or Without 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 and Louisa Meets Bear
"I was truly immersed from page one of With or Without You, Caroline Leavitt's new novel. It should be on the cover of the Indie Next List when it is published. Booksellers and book clubs are going to embrace this novel. Caroline has crafted the perfect storm of intriguing plot, beautiful prose, and characters with whom the reader forms an emotional connection. Having read her entire body of work, it came as no surprise that she has once again struck a literary gold mine. So often art is written about in terms of the artist's soul being transferred onto the canvas. Caroline did a remarkable job of making it truly believable that Stella was able to see into her subject's soul and bring it to life in the art. Sure to be popular with readers interested in art, music, medical drama, and all the book clubs looking for a meaty novel that will spur discussion. I will be recommending this novel to all my friends and look forward to hand selling it in the store.”
Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books