Me Before You

Synopsis

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

Verdict =5/5 *beautiful, engaging and relevant*

It is difficult to write a review when you have no criticisms. I wholeheartedly enjoyed Me Before You and I am really looking forward to the movie. This novel is just wonderful and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good contemporary read.

When Louisa Clark is fired from her comfortable job in a small town cafe, she is forced to take a position as carer to quadriplegic Will Traynor. Resentful of his situation and the help he needs, Will takes a while to warm to Clark but eventually the two of them develop a deep connection as Clark determinedly tries to show Will that his life is worth living. As Clark’s life becomes further entwined with that of the Traynor’s she is forced to re-examine her preconceptions about the world and her future. Clark and Will both complement and challenge each other in ways that see their lives alter dramatically throughout the course of the novel. Reading about the transformation of these characters was a wonderful and bittersweet experience.

Clark and her situation are very relatable. I have read so many books lately with very young, self-assured women leading impossibly successful lives. While this is awesome to read about, these women don’t always resonate with me. The girls of my generation graduated into a recession economy and while it’s nice to read about strong successful women we can aspire to, it is also nice to read about people like Louisa Clark who don’t have it all together by age twenty-five.

Louisa is real – she is insecure and struggling as a number of us are. Events from her past trap her in a small comfort zone until Will brings her out of her shell. In this way both Clark and Will enrich each other’s lives.

Louisa’s family provide a good supporting cast, with well-developed personas and their own subplots. Their relationships grow and change as the novel progresses, showing that this is as much a novel about romance as it is about family. The contrast between Louisa’s family and Will’s are evident, but as the perspective shifts around the reader learns not to judge a person by initial impressions or social stereotypes. I especially loved reading Camilla Traynor’s (Will’s mother) perspective as she is shown in a much more compassionate light than how Louisa casts her. Will’s mother spends the novel trying to come to terms with what is happening to her family. Though Camilla appears strong and cold, she has found herself in a terrible situation that she can’t control despite how much she tries.

Jojo Moyes tackles a controversial modern issue with sensitivity and grace. Euthansia is a contentious ethical topic in contemporary society. Moyes explores this issue by writing from the perspective of several different characters (with Lou being the main viewpoint), as the people surrounding Will deal with the fact that he no longer wants to live. How the different characters react to this showcases the wide range of opinions on this issue in our society. It is the way that Moyes handles this issue and the romance she weaves in the story that makes this book a must-read.

Have you read Me Before You? What did you think?

Thanks for reading 🙂

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