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Necessary to Life: A memoir of devotion, cancer and abundant love
Author: Louisa Leontiades, foreword by Michón Neal

Publication Date: April 7, 2017
Formats: Trade paperback, Kindle and ePub
ISBN: 978-1-944934-13-2 (paperback); 978-1-944934-15-6 (ePub); 978-1-944934-14-9 (Kindle); 978-1-944934-16-3 (PDF)
Price: US$14.95 (paperback); $7.99 (e-book)

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Vilified by the media and threatened with the loss of her children for her outspoken non-monogamous lifestyle, Louisa Leontiades is, unbeknownst to the outside world, being defeated by mundanity. Four years of caring for toddlers and living in tracksuits has left her anxious, exhausted and virtually celibate.

Her partner, Morten, falls in love with Yasmin, whose conservative Muslim family will never allow them to be together unless he leaves Louisa. Louisa herself falls for Janus, a terminal cancer patient looking for a mother for his children before he dies—and who has no intention of becoming a part of Louisa’s own family. As Louisa and Morten seem poised to be torn apart, Louisa learns she has a potentially fatal tumour.

Should she start a family with Janus (if she lives)? Would Yasmin make a good stepmother for her children (if she dies)? Escaping the prosaic ache of the commonplace will put Louisa and her family through heartbreak, tragedy and confrontation with the ever-present spectre of death. Necessary to Life takes an unflinching look at the importance of seizing the moment and the costs of following your heart.

“This is the real deal! Louisa Leontiades bares her soul to tell the whole truth about what it’s really like living in an open relationship—all the joy and the heartbreak. Instead of trying to be a poster child for polyamory, she shares her fears and doubts, and the difficulties of inventing new forms of love and family while facing the criticism and judgements of a monogamous world. She is fearless in revealing her own anxiety and guilt about being a mother while also daring to be a fully sexual being. This book reads like a great novel, and is so riveting, I couldn’t put it down!”
—Kathy Labriola, author of
Love in Abundance and The Jealousy Workbook

“Louisa weaves her own transformative tale of loving in such intense but vastly different ways. Her struggles led her to better, but it was only through taking the unmarked path…Louisa shines only because she has become transparent. Despite her anxiety, she continually seeks to stretch towards the sun.”
—from the foreword by Michón Neal

Louisa Leontiades


A freelance writer originally from the UK, Louisa Leontiades lives in an open relationship with her partners and two children in Sweden. She writes full-time on her blog, Postmodern Woman, and is chairwoman of Sweden’s National Polyamory Association. She also writes for The Huffington Post, Salon, Nerve, Jezebel and The Guardian. She lives a life that makes for a lot of stories.