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You Left Early

by Louisa Young

Biography / Autobiography Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel eBooks of the Month

LoveReading View on You Left Early

'When the person who loves the alcoholic declares their powerlessness, it is not about their own relationship with alcohol, nor necessarily about their own relationship with the alcoholic: it is about the alcoholic’s relationship with alcohol.'

Robert Lockhart – piano virtuoso and former musical director of the National Theatre – met Louisa Young for the first time when they were both just 17. Their on-off relationship lasted for decades during which time Louisa also achieved great success with her Costa short-listed novel My Dear I wanted to Tell You and the sequels The Heroes’ Welcome and Devotion.

You Left Early is an engaging, thought-provoking and challenging account of a partner struggling to survive a relationship with a man who has an ‘evil twin’, an alter-ego addicted to alcohol.

Louisa Young has a gift, an ability to put into words and describe a subject that many, many people have been affected by, either though personal addiction or as a family member or friend.

This book isn’t simply entertaining, it is an education. Reading it will leave you with understanding, sympathy and knowledge. It is a fascinating tale – of how to survive and what drives that ‘Evil Twin'.

Matt Johnson

You Left Early Synopsis

This brutal, beautiful memoir from award-winning novelist Louisa Young is a heartbreaking portrayal of love, grief and the merciless grip of addiction. Louisa first met Robert Lockhart when they were both 17. Their stop-start romance lasted decades, in which time he became a celebrated composer and she, an acclaimed novelist. Always snapping at their heels was Robert's alcoholism, a helpless, ferocious dependency that affected his personality before crippling and finally, despite five years of hard-won sobriety, killing him. There are a million love stories, and a million stories of addiction. This one is truly transcendent. It is at once a compelling portrait of a unique and charismatic man; a bittersweet reflection on an all-consuming love affair; and a completely honest and incredibly affecting guide to how the partner of an alcoholic can possibly survive when the disease rips both their lives apart. This is a hugely important book - raw and unflinching but also uplifting and elegiac, it should be essential reading for anybody who's ever lost someone they loved.

You Left Early Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

A heart-breaking memoir that takes you on an emotional journey with love and resilience leading the way Full review

Nicola Edwards

Did not like this book at all and cannot give any positive feedback whatsoever. Full review

Sue Burton

You Left Early Press Reviews

'Louisa Young's memoir of her long, bruising love for musical genius Robert Lockhart is as honest as the morning after and the best account of loving against all sense since Penelope Fitzgerald's The Pumpkin Eater' - Patrick Gale

'If the greatest act of devotion is to conjure the dead beloved in all their vivid, imperfect, mesmerising humanity, then Louisa Young's book is a memorial to equal the Taj Mahal. Anyone who has ever loved an alcoholic (be that a partner, parent, friend or relative) will find that the author's insights and breathtaking honesty will salve their wounds, as well as help them better understand the most devastating of addictions' - Rowan Pelling

'The most riveting, heartbreaking book I've ever read about addiction, but above all about the nature of love. Already one of my books of the year' - Linda Grant

'An extraordinarily candid bereavement memoir... As much as it's an overwhelming love letter, Young's book is also a sobering reminder of the devastating effects of alcoholism, not just on an individual's life, but on everyone else around them' - Evening Standard

'Spectacular. I can't stop thinking about it. Louisa Young is a beautiful, beautiful writer and there is great courage and love in the way she addresses her subject. It's the portrait of a man and his times and his illness told with love but also with an unflinching honesty that feels like a great gift to the reader' - Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love

'Oh my God, it's so beautiful, and heartbreaking, and true' - Sam Baker, The Pool

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780008265182
Publication date: 28/06/2018
Publisher: The Borough Press an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780008265182
Publication date: 28th June 2018
Author: Louisa Young
Publisher: The Borough Press an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 416 pages
Genres: Biography / Autobiography, Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites,
Categories: Memoirs, Coping with drug & alcohol abuse, Illness & addiction: social aspects,

About Louisa Young

Louisa Young was born in London. She was for many years a freelance journalist, working mostly for the motorcycle press, for Marie Claire and for the Guardian. She has travelled widely and published ten books. She lives in London and Italy with her daughter. She is the adult half of Zizou Corder, authors of the best-selling Lionboy trilogy, which is published in 36 languages.

More About Louisa Young

More Books By Louisa Young

Cover for The Heroes' Welcome by Louisa Young
Cover for The Heroes' Welcome by Louisa Young
Cover for My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young
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