Me Before You – Jojo Moyes

Well, I just finished reading this today. On the train, with actual tears in my eyes. I knew what was coming. I accidentally read some spoilers during all the hype as the movie came out this year. It knew I was in for a sob-fest.

I think Jojo Moyes landed on a great storyline that hasn’t been explored too much in mainstream publishing yet. Solid gold.

In terms of writing, the characters were well developed and she writes with the effortlessness of someone who knows what she’s doing (and probably has a pretty serious editing team behind her). It’s about the characters. And believe me, if I was left feeling the way I did, and I even knew it was coming, the characters were well done.

In a nutshell, Louisa loses her job and is forced to take a position as a carer for a young, wealthy quadriplegic man. She helps support her not-so-well-off family, so she at least has to give it a try. She soon realises that the young, charming man she cares for is intending to kill himself (via a legal euthanasia clinic in Switzerland). And so it becomes Louisa Clarke’s mission to change Will’s mind.

Over the course of the book, Louisa falls for Will. He returns the feelings, but doesn’t end up changing his mind in the end. Lame…. but, it’s complicated, and I feel Moyes deals with the subject matter well. There can be quite heated debate over euthanasia, and even Lou’s own mother, so loving, thoughtful and supportive, rejects her daughter when she goes to support Will.

I can understand it, I guess. Being constantly uncomfortable, unable to help yourself, miserable – there is good reason for Will’s decision. But at the same time, I imagined my own husband becoming a quadriplegic and being in his position – and I just can’t imagine supporting him in any way! He’s young, handsome, amazing, with a great personality. And I love him with all of my heart. I can’t imagine a world without him. (Hence all the crying).

But I suppose you can never understand until you are actually in the position.

An easy, enjoyable read. Moyes write Lou’s character with a good amount of quirkiness and wit, so the story is not completely depressing to read.

So…. uhh… there was a snippet of Moyes sequel at the end of the novel, and I’m concerned about where that is headed. I’m hoping she writes a meaningful follow-up and doesn’t ruin what she’s made!

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