I just adore the way Jojo Moyes pulls emotions out of her readers. She gives her characters impossible situations to get through, heartbreaking life decisions to make, all the while amping up the sexual tension and ultimately writing an amazing love story that will toss you from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other.
Louisa Clark has just lost her job at the Buttered Bun, the tea shop in her quiet English village. This is a huge blow, she loved that job and now she’s not able to contribute to family coffers, which is more empty than not these days. The relationship with her boyfriend of six years is fairly stagnant, Patrick more interested in his marathon training than he is in Lou. With nothing else on the horizon, Lou takes a trip up past the castle where the well-to-do live to interview for a position as caretaker of a wheelchair-bound man after a near-fatal run-in with a motorcycle.
Pre-accident handsome Will Traynor lived an athletic, adventurous life, an adrenaline junkie to the core. He made loads of money, crisscrossed the globe, loved women, and suddenly in less than a blink of the eye, it’s all gone. Now with his music and television and his nurse, he very rarely leaves his home. He’s in constant pain, infections and viruses put him in the hospital more often than not, and just sitting in his chair day after day, not able to do anything for himself, this is not the life Will wants.
Against the odds, Lou is hired as Will’s caretaker. His mother takes a chance on her openness and friendly demeanor, because the next six months are going to be quite difficult. Will has given his parents that much time before he decides to end his existence, his very limited existence, in Switzerland – something Lou doesn’t know the first day she meets Will. And as intense, serious, and heartbreaking as this issue and story is, there’s plenty of light moments throughout. One of those is that first meeting, Will letting loose a pretty darned good Christy Brown imitation. These two don’t get along for the first little bit they’re thrust into each other’s lives. It’s a slow turn into curiosity, admiration, and eventually love for them.
When Louisa does discover what Will has planned, she begins an all-out campaign to show him life is still worth living. Scouring the internet and obtaining advice from an online support group, she schedules all kinds of trips that will allow him to experience life outside the walls of his home. It’s during this time that their closeness that has occurred over their months together turns into love. Even after an amazing trip to enjoy sand, sun, tropical drinks, and each other, is it all enough to change Will’s mind? That’s what his parents have been hoping for, the reason they hired Lou in the first place. When Lou discovers even she isn’t enough for Will to want to live, she has no choice but to walk away.
Two characters who have not one thing in common, who come from very different worlds. Two characters who look at life so differently, all because of one unfortunate moment in time. They teach each other so much in the limited time they have together. Those final scenes are heartbreaking, but it isn’t until Will’s letter that the tears finally came for me. I’m glad Louisa found Will. Though it was his life that changed so drastically, hers also changed so much for having known him, in more ways than one. Kudos to Jojo Moyes for pulling the reader into such depth of these characters’ lives. This is a love story you have to read. This is a love story you won’t forget anytime soon.
I have a hardcover copy of Me Before You from the publisher to give away to one of our readers, along with a nice poster of the book cover. Leave me a comment or question to be entered. Sorry, U.S. only, please.
Also, check out this Book Club Kit. If you’re part of a club, definitely suggest this book, these items will help.
They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose.
Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.
Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.
A Love Story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?
Read an excerpt.