With or Without You by Caroline Leavitt

Imagine waking up from a coma and having expert level skills that you never had before.⁣

You can suddenly speak fluent Mandarin or play the piano like a boss.⁣

Or, like Stella – acquire startling artistic talent.⁣

Slight reconfigurations or activations of the brain from injury. Sounds cool right? Well, except for the coma part, of course. ⁣

“Leavitt has crafted an irresistible portrait of midlife ennui and the magic of breaking free.”


⁣And the fact that just before Stella went into the coma, she finally began to realize that putting her life on hold for Simon to pursue his music career – was not her happily ever after.⁣

So when she finally wakes up months later … things are most definitely weird.⁣

I couldn’t put this one down – it was a page-turning story of trauma, the search for happiness, and starting over. It fascinated me, tugged at my heart in the most unexpected of ways, and took some wild emotional turns – but it was a hope-filled read that I enjoyed every minute of.⁣

“What if Snow White woke up and decided she didn’t much like Prince Charming? Something like that happens in Leavitt’s latest novel . . . One character’s coma is only the first surprise in this satisfying story of middle-aged love.”

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Don’t sleep on this one. (Sorry, bad joke. 😆) ⁣⁣

What sudden talent would you want to have?⁣

Thank you to Suzy Approved Book Tours for having me on this tour!

With or Without You is now available in paperback and you can grab it here!

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Algonquin Books (June 29, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1643751433
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643751436

About the Book:

New York Times bestselling author Caroline Leavitt writes novels that expertly explore the struggles and conflicts that people face in their search for happiness. For the characters in With or Without You, it seems at first that such happiness can come only at someone else’s expense. Stella is a nurse who has long suppressed her own needs and desires to nurture the dreams of her partner, Simon, the bass player for a rock band that has started to lose its edge. But when Stella gets unexpectedly ill and falls into a coma just as Simon is preparing to fly with his band to Los Angeles for a gig that could revive his career, Simon must learn the meaning of sacrifice, while Stella’s best friend, Libby, a doctor who treats Stella, must also make a difficult choice as the coma wears on.

When Stella at last awakes from her two-month sleep, she emerges into a striking new reality where Simon and Libby have formed an intense bond, and where she discovers that she has acquired a startling artistic talent of her own: the ability to draw portraits of people in which she captures their innermost feelings and desires. Stella’s whole identity, but also her role in her relationships, has been scrambled, and she has the chance to form a new life, one she hadn’t even realized she wanted. 

A story of love, loyalty, loss, and resilience, With or Without You is a page-turner that asks the question, What do we owe the other people in our lives, and when does the cost become too great?

About the Author:

Caroline Leavitt is a New York Times Bestselling and USA Today bestselling author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You, and the award-winning author of eight other novels. Pictures of You was a Costco “Pennie’s Pick,” a San Francisco Chronicle Lit Pick, and it was also on many Best of 2011 lists, including the San Francisco Chronicle, the Providence Journal, Bookmarks Magazine, and Kirkus Reviews, which also put the novel on their Top Five Novels about Family and Love list. Her 10th novel IS THIS TOMORROW, was an Indie Pick, A Jewish Book Club pick, a Best Book of the Year from January Magazine, and also a New York Times bestseller and long-listed for the Maine Readers Prize. CRUEL BEAUTIFUL WORLD was an Indie Next Pick and a Best Book fo the Year from BlogCritics and The Pulpwood Queens (they have a thousand bookclubs across America.) WITH OR WITHOUT YOU will be out from Algonquin August 4, 2020. She is a New York Foundation of the Arts Fellow, a Goldenberg Fiction Prize Winner, and a Sundance Screenwriting Finalist and teaches writing at UCLA and Stanford online, has private clients, and is a book critic for People and the San Francisco Chronicle. Caroline is deliriously happily married to the writer Jeff Tamarkin (his book, Got A Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane, was one of the top music books of the year, and ShellShocked) and they have a son – an actor.

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8 thoughts on “With or Without You by Caroline Leavitt

    1. Its definitely a fascinating premise – and it hooks you in right from the start! And oh, man I wish could sing too!


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