Me Before You; Thought Provoking and Thoroughly Entertaining

24 Sep Me Before You; Thought Provoking and Thoroughly Entertaining

I love the way British author, JoJo Moyes, describes her own novel, Me Before You. It’sa real weepy,” she says–an apt description for a novel that moves most readers to tears, but not before making them laugh a little, too.

A funny, engaging writer with a down-to-earth style, Moyes is an expert at weaving an entertaining tale with realistic characters that readers can truly relate to and become fully invested in.

Louisa Clark is an every day sort of 26-year-old girl, lacking ambition, and seemingly content to live with her parents and sister in their modest home. When she loses her job at a coffee shop, she is forced to seek employment out of her comfort zone, becoming the caregiver of 35-year-old Will Traynor, a dashingly handsome, daredevil of a man, accustomed to living life to its  fullest. Rock climbing, motorcycle riding, and traveling the world, Will enjoyed a successful career in finance and the beautiful women who adorned his excessive lifestyle. When a freak accident leaves him a quadriplegic, Louisa is hired to be his caregiver.

An unlikely relationship blossoms between the apathetic Louisa and the out raged Will. Bitter at what life has stolen from him and frustrated by Louisa’s lack of zest for her own, Will endeavors to encourage her to live–really live– while ironically Louisa’s mission is the same: to convince Will to keep living following the revelation he intends to seek euthanasia.

A scarring incident in Lou’s  teenage years have left her a shell of who she once was, but slowly, with Will’s encouragement, she begins to grow, watching foreign movies, reading novels, separating herself from her smothering family & believing she, like her sister, can go to college. Above all else, she gets to work, devising a plan to save Will’s life. She puts together a series of exciting activities for them to share in hopes of getting him out of the house and into the mindset his life is still worth living.

Jojo Moyes does an incredible job of pacing this story, making the readers truly care about her characters, and of course, giving them pause to consider what really constitutes a life and how that could be different for each of us. Highlighting the difficulty of getting around in the world as a disabled person and illustrating the right to die is truly a personal choice (albeit one that cannot help but filter down through innumerable lives), she brilliantly allows the reader to ponder this deeply provocative and timely question without judgment.

She does all of this in a very entertaining, page turning, quick read.  Highly highly recommended.

Now let’s see what the Ladies on Literature have to say…stay tuned for next week, when we have our fist meeting of the fall, chez moi.