Saturday, March 30, 2013


Author:  Domenica Ruta
Genre:  Memoir, Standalone
Published:  2013
Personal Rating:  3/5 (just okay)
Format:  eBook  
Yearly Count:  22

From NetGalley:
Domenica Ruta grew up in a working-class, unforgiving Italian town north of Boston where in the seventeenth century women were hanged as witches. Her mother, Kathi, a notorious figure in this hardscrabble place, was a drug addict and sometime dealer whose life swung between welfare and riches, whose highbrow taste was at odds with her base appetites. And yet she managed, despite the chaos she created, to instill in her daughter the idea that art—via a classic film or a classical education—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’s unconventional coming of age—a darkly hilarious chronicle of a misfit ’90s childhood and the necessary and painful act of breaking away, and of overcoming her own addictions and demons in the process. In a brilliant stylistic feat, Domenica Ruta has written a powerful, inspiring, compulsively readable, and finally redemptive story about loving and leaving.

This was an interesting, quick read, but chronologically it was a mess.  Ruta mentions that when she began writing she just took the memories as they came.  Well that's fine and dandy, but if you're going to publish the memories into a book, a logical step would be to put them in order so they easily make sense to a reader.

Ruta's childhood obviously was not one anybody would wish for and good for her for rising above what she grew up with; however, I didn't find her story to be "darkly hilarious, powerful or inspiring."  I wish her well.        

My thanks go to Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley for providing me with this eGalley.


  1. I do like memoirs but they can bug me when they get ramble-y.

    1. Bermudaonion ~ It just didn't produce what was advertised.

  2. I wouldn't want to read a story of memories that were all over the place. Wonder what editor thought that would be a great idea?

    1. Staci ~ Well, I know that style doesn't work for this reader.


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