You Left Early: A True Story of Love and Alcohol

By Louisa Young

‘Extraordinarily powerful’ Emma Thompson

There are a million love stories, and a million stories of addiction. This one is transcendent.

Louisa Young 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.

This is both a compelling portrait of a lifelong love affair, and an incredibly affecting guide to how the partner of a ‘charismatic, infuriating, adorable, self-sabotaging’ alcoholic can find the strength to survive when the disease rips both their lives apart.

‘Rich and moving and beautifully written’ The Times

‘Spectacular. I can’t stop thinking about it’ Cathy Rentzenbrink

‘Extraordinarily candid’ Evening Standard

‘Beautiful, and heartbreaking, and true’ Sam Baker, The Pool

‘Moving, harrowing and tirelessly empathetic’ Daily Express

Format: ebook
Release Date: 28 Jun 2018
Pages: None
ISBN: 978-0-00-826519-9
Louisa Young was born in London and read history at Cambridge. She co-wrote the Lionboy series with her daughter, and is the author of eight further books including the bestselling My Dear I Wanted to Tell You, which was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award, and was a Richard and Judy Book Club choice, and its acclaimed sequels The Heroes’ Welcome and Devotion. Her work is published in 36 languages. She lives in London.

”'Rich and moving and beautifully written” - The Times

”'An extraordinarily powerful and moving work - for all… An achingly beautiful book which I devoured in two sittings. Amazing” - Emma Thompson

”'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

”'Beautiful but, yes, sobering story … it is, at heart, an old-fashioned love” - Daily Mail

”'Extraordinarily candid… 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

”'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

”'Brave, honest and beautiful” - Nicholas Lezard, Evening Standard

”'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 Mortimer’s The Pumpkin Eater” - Patrick Gale

”'I’m still fucking crying. And it’s such a great work of art. I wish I'd read it before I worked as a drug and alcohol counsellor” - Philippa Perry

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

”'Had me weeping into my pillow… Anyone who has ever loved an addict will recognise most of what she has to say” - iNews

”'An important book, one that demands we rethink a culture of blame around alcoholism … moving, harrowing and tirelessly empathetic” - Daily Express