Author: Jojo Moyes
Provided 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.
Review: Me Before You is one of those books that has remained on my thoughts hours after I finished it and I suspect it will continue to do so for the remainder of my life. As one of the best books I have read this year, I find it difficult to find the words to review it because it is one of those stories that had so much to say and managed to do so without forcing an opinion on the ethics at the heart of the story; Moyes, as an author, has now surprised and pleased me two times with her faith in her readers to draw their own conclusions about what they believe to be right or wrong.
Despite inferences that may be drawn from the cover this is not a romance book. Instead, it is a story about the quality of life and the importance to live ones life to the fullest while the opportunity is still there. Will was in an accident two years ago that ruined his spinal cord and left him in a wheelchair as a quadriplegic. He finds it impossible to adjust to his new life when his old one is so imprinted upon him with all of his successes and adventures; he had lived his life to the fullest and now he must rely on others to do everything for him. Opposite to Will is Louisa, who has really done nothing much with her life and refuses to look beyond the boundaries of her hometown to discover what more is out there. When Lou becomes Will’s caretaker the two initially clash; as they learn of each other’s life and stories, however, they begin to change the other’s life in ways they had never expected.
These two characters evolved to become people I deeply cared about. The limitations of their circumstances were realistic and beautifully written. As an author, Moyes had plenty of opportunity to play up the melodrama, yet she focused in a situation that could be a possibility for any of us. The emotions are so raw, and it has come to the point where I have such a strong level of trust in Moyes to take me to these places of emotional truth. As Will opens Lou’s eyes to how far the horizon could reach for her, he did so too for me and for any reader of this book. I have left this book feeling mad and sad, but ultimately understanding of the power and importance to let each individual make their own choices when it comes to their life.