I finally read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.
I don’t know that I will ever be able to recover from the heartbreak of that book. The last time I remember being this affected by a book was when I read Marian Keyes’ Is Anybody Out There? Did you read that one? It was the first book about the Walsh sisters that I read – Anna Walsh is recovering from all sorts of heinous injuries under the watchful eye of Mammy Walsh and she can’t get a hold of her husband Aidan. She can’t remember what happened but it’s not like them to go so long without talking. Finally she remembers what happens and why Aidan isn’t calling and she’s devastated and spends the next year of her life trying to reach him on the other side.
I was in pieces after that book.
Reading Me Before You brought on a similar sensation. I wish I had been on my own somewhere to read that and give in properly – instead I was in the car beside my other half trying to muffle the sounds of my sobs, knowing that he was looking over every so often. So embarrassing.
Anyway – the book. Louisa Clark is living a very ordinary (boring) life at home in the house she’s always lived in when she loses her job at a local cafe. Not being particularly trained for anything but reluctant to take a job as a stripper, she ends up as a kind of paid companion to Will Traynor, a quadriplegic. At first Louisa, very aware of her limited skills, pussy foots around him, checking in on him every 15 minutes as instructed by Will’s mother. Eventually though she gets tired of walking on egg shells and she starts treating him like a human being which, is exactly what Will has been missing since his accident.
Louisa has been hired on for 6 months. Then she finds out what Will’s plans are at the end of those 6 months and she sets out to change his mind.
Obviously she also falls in love with him.
I’ve already said too much. I knew what the twist was when I was making my way through it so I guess it was fairly predictable. But the way it all unfolds was still so completely heartbreaking. I wasn’t prepared for the full range of emotions. The book is funny and captivating and so, so smart. At the end your heart will break (if you have a heart) but there is a curious sensation of hope.
I had just finished The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin, my book club’s selection, when I started Me Before You. I enjoyed The American Heiress but I think that Me Before You would almost have been a better book club book – seems like there is so much more to discuss.
Not bad for a book I initially thought of as Chick Lit.
10 thoughts on “Me Before You”
Sounds good. Might give it a go – I would normally be put of this by thinking it was “just” chick-lit – I’ve tried some chick lit and found the motivations of the protagonists not convincing enough, so gave up.
I promise that Lou’s motivations are convincing. This is a very different take on the traditional Chick Lit genre.
Hooray! I liked that you said it was moving. Although often moved by films, I am not often moved by books at all. One of the ones I remember was Behind the Scenes at the Museum, the scene where Ruby is having therapy and memories are returning to her.
This book had me in pieces, I’m pretty sure I’m heartbroken. Movies do seem to have an easier time moving their audiences but I tend to think it’s because the experience of watching a movie is condensed into a couple of hours – you don’t normally walk away and take a break when things become too much.
I’d never thought of that.
I think also I need to get recommendations of books that are moving. I tend to get the reviews from the Sunday papers, which concentrate more on whether books are worthy.
I thought of another one tonight – Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Made me cry several times.
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