Audiobook Review: With or Without You by Domenica Ruta

I just finished listening to Domenica Ruta read the audiobook version of her heart-wrenching debut  memoir, With or Without YouNamed after the U2 song with the same title, this memoir  tells the tale of Nikki, whose coming of age story begins in the early 90’s withorwithoutyouwith her drug addicted/dealer  single mom, Kathi,  in the suburbs of Boston.   The book begins with one of the earliest memories for four year old  Nikki — going with her sledge hammer wielding mother to bash in the  car of one of the family’s enemies!    A Gen-X’er’s version of Jeanette Walls’ Glass Castles, Ruta is put through the wringer with a mother who in one instance sends her to prep school and in the other hand does dramatizations of the hanger scene from “Mommy Dearest” with her daughter for fun.  The rest of Ruta’s dysfunctional family is certainly no better as we see how the author sinks into her own personal hell but somehow emerges from the depths of darkness and overcomes her own demons.  Ruta has a wonderful descriptive writing style that is  brutally honest and makes you feel like you are living the scene with her.  If you like to read or listen to memoirs,  I would put With or Without You to the top of the list.

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