With or Without You
By Drew Davies
Rated: 4 stars ****
From the author of The Shape of Us and Dear Lily; Drew Davies brings you his latest book –With Or Without You. It is full of poignancy about life sometimes it can be taken for granted. It’s a great book to read as you follow the life of Mr and Mrs Dixit in this profound and uplifting and yet heartbreaking story.
I thank Bookouture for accepting my request to review this book by Drew Davies.
Discover the blurb and full review below.
‘How long does a coma last?’ I ask.
‘Days, weeks, months?’ the nurse replies with a shrug, although her eyes are very kind.
‘But on average?’
She just smiles, unable to give me an answer.
Wendy’s life can be neatly divided into two: before and after.
Before her husband’s car accident, it was just the two of them. They never took the train at rush hour, and they avoided their noisy neighbour upstairs. Naveem devoted his spare time to vintage train models, and Wendy to re-reading the well-thumbed pages of her favourite books. It didn’t matter what others thought about their small, quiet life together – they were happy.
After the coma, Wendy barely recognises herself. When she’s not holding the love of her life’s hand, accompanied by the beep of the life-support machine, who is she? The nurse tells her to talk to Naveem – that he can still hear her – but she doesn’t have a single thing to say.
Suddenly Wendy can’t bear the silence. She needs something, anything, to talk to Naveem about. Suddenly she’s losing herself at fairgrounds packed with crowds and candyfloss, she’s at the airport, waiting for the whoosh of the planes as they take off, making friends with the neighbour she has spent over a decade avoiding.
Knowing that every breath her husband takes might be his last, Wendy has no choice but to try to carry on without him. Should she feel guilty about living while his life is on pause? And when – if – he wakes up, will he still love the woman she has become?
This poignant, moving and uplifting tale is for anyone who has taken life for granted, neglected to say ‘I love you’ to their loved ones, or forgotten to find happiness in the little things. Perfect for fans of Josie Silver, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and Jojo Moyes.
There’s quite lot of drama that unfolds. It’s poignant and thought-provoking about how life and loved ones etc can be taken for granted. It also shows very well how things can unexpectedly change in an instant.
The emotions that entail are powerful and realistically written. The book also at times can be sweet and uplifting. It’s a very good book to look out for this summer.
Mrs and Mr Naveem Dixit, from Chomley, are perhaps quite a typical couple from the rigmarole of hanging up a picture to the appliance shopping to the almost having to justify themselves about their childlessness status in a half-jokey kind of way. They are like many other couples, just getting on with what they have to do and the chores of life. Then everything changes… Mr Dixit is in an accident and is in a critical state.
Mrs Rampersad, their neighbour who is pretty brazen in attitude, is clearly trying to help by her immediate questions in her “urgent” manner, before Mrs Dixit has proper chance to gather thoughts and get her head around what has actually happened to her husband. She’s quite a contrast from Mrs Dixit. Her comments keep pricking throughout, with more intensity as the story between these 2 women unfolds. Somehow though, they become a little closer as Mrs Dixit starts to live life as her husband lies in hospital.
The way the story and characters are all knitted together creates moments that are heartbreaking and yet with moments that are uplifting and heartwarming.
Drew Davies takes readers through each emotional day that Mrs Dixit endures and means you are with her every step of the way as time unfolds. I liked this style. It fits this particular story very well and makes it feel realistic and will keep readers turning the pages to see how life progresses for each of the characters.
The subjects covered within this book makes this an important fictional work, because people seem to talk a quite a bit, taking things and people for granted. It’s also just a good story to sit down to with a cup of tea or a beverage of your choosing and enjoy.