71 Following

Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

Currently reading

Visible Empire
Hannah Pittard
The Deptford Trilogy
Robertson Davies
Life on Mars
Jennifer Brown
The Family Under the Bridge
Natalie Savage Carlson

With or Without You

With or Without You - Domenica Ruta

There are books people need to get out. Personal works written to someone they love or hate that perhaps should stay personal. Often this is my reaction when I read a memoir. Nice story, but why? Especially when the writer has obvious talent I can't help but question him or her. Why not fictionalize this? Why put something out that is so personal?


It's what makes rating a book like this too difficult. It's the reason I struggled with my ratings for Life Inside and The Last Lecture. Perhaps I shouldn't put a value to personal memoirs. Ruta's story is interesting, written fairly well, but to put a value to her story of heartache and redemption—I can't do it. But then is putting a “value” to a book ever a good idea? (I'm beginning to wonder.)


Ruta proves to be an intelligent and promising writer. Her style was good, but I would've personally preferred a more linear narrative. Her story is somehow both tragic and not. I don't know, what can I say about this memoir? In my opinion, the best part of the book was the epilogue, where Ruta answers some of my questions about purpose and ties up the loose strands in a poetic, meaningful way.


Yeah, that about sums it up. I should just stay away from memoirs.