For this post I will be reviewing Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. Let me preface this by saying that this book is a definite tearjerker, so if you don’t want to find yourself crying, this book might not be for you. The plot starts out with Louisa Clark, a 27 year old who has had a rather “play it safe” life and has not gone beyond her hometown in England which serves as tourist attraction for those who want to see the famous Castle that is there. She’s been in a relationship with her boyfriend Patrick for about 7 years and has recently lost her job at a little cafe called the Buttered Bun. Her parents rely on her for income, as her father is just about to lose his job, her grandfather has Alzheimer’s, and her sister, Katrina, is a single mom still living with them. She has no other qualifications other than being a waitress and so an opportunity comes her way and she accepts a temporary six-month position as a caregiver to a quadriplegic, Will Traynor.
When she first starts, her and Will could not be more opposite from one another. Will had become quadriplegic in an accident two years earlier, but before that he enjoyed living an affluent lifestyle, involving extreme sports, traveling the world, and enjoying exotic women. Will had tried to push Louisa away several times, but with some effort and determination on Louisa’s part, they are able to develop an extremely touching relationship.
What becomes a blossoming romance, Will and Louisa are able to change the other in such positive ways and in such a short period of time. Will pushes and dares Louisa to push past her comfort zone and explore new horizons, while Louisa provides a happiness for Will that he hasn’t experienced in a long time.
This book deals with real thought provoking subject matter, as the real reason Louisa’s position is only 6 months (as she later learns) is because Will has decided to end his life via assisted suicide and promised his parents only 6 more months until he would go through with it. For Will’s parents, their only hope was to hire Louisa as she emanated a bright and cheerful persona that they felt would do the trick in convincing Will to change his mind and in giving him something to live for.
This is a heartbreaking book but Jojo Moyes does an excellent job at being able to balance out the deep subject matter with the light and witty banter that Louisa and Will share. I especially liked that certain chapters that were narrated by other characters other than Louisa (her sister, Will’s mother and father, etc.) as it provided added depth and different points of view.
All in all this book was excellent. It makes one question if they have truly lived life and what makes life worth living. This book beautifully illustrates a true romance and what that entails and it is absolutely uplifting. This is a book that your heart will not forget anytime soon. By far, an excellent, excellent read.