~ 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.
I’ve been carrying this book around for nearly a year and a half in my Kindle, and like most books when I see the trailer for the movie coming out – I dive in (if it’s a goodie – and wow, wasn’t this one?)
I could tell enough from the synopsis that this was going to be a crier – I could tell from the trailer it was probably going to rip my heart out, stomp on it and then smile as if nothing happened. I was right, on so m any levels. But this book really grabbed me, I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump the last couple of weeks, starting one book and quitting after a few chapters, starting another one and doing the same. But when I started Me Before You I was hooked and read it in one sitting. Louisa is probably the most adorable character I’ve read in months, and the relationship she cultivates with Will after becoming his caregiver was very different than what I imagined it would be. Louisa is lost – lost in her life and isn’t quite sure what she wants to do with herself, other than help support her family in a job that pays enough and doesn’t leave her with nightmares of chicken giblets. But when she takes a job as a caregiver for Will, a quadriplegic with a less than desirable attitude about his plight, she makes her mission to show him he’s got a lot of living left to do.
While Louisa is trying to show Will adventures, they start to pick at one another, digging below the surface as their relationship blooms into more of a friendship, Lou generally cares for him and as they spend more time together we can see that she’s definitely having a positive affect on Will’s personality. He’s actually laughing – he lets her cut his hair, gives him a shave – his family agreeing he seems more like his old self, but underneath….. I’m not sure anyone has any idea of how frusterating and depressing his plight is. For a man like Will who was very adventurous, traveled, had numerous girlfriends – to be confined to a wheelchair and in almost constant nerve pain, has left him in a daily hell. He talks of the memories he has of his past, that you would think would give him some happiness, but truly they’re only a reminder of what he’s no longer able to do. He’ll never hike another mountain, he’ll probably never make love to a woman in the way he wants and as the story unfolds – there’s hope that Louisa may just be the person to change his mind and turn things around.
With her brightly colored clothing and sense of humor she seems to bring out the best him, even if it is just so he can poke fun at her shoes….. dress and general daily living. Because Will sees that she wants more, but for whatever reason isn’t able to do it. He pushes her to do things – read books, see films, he tells her of places he’s traveled and tries to push her to the realization that her life is better lived outside of their little English countryside – she’s too bold to waste away in this town not doing any of the things she wants too…. In a way they’re both lost in themselves, not sure how to get out of the slump they’ve both found themselves in. But in finding each other, perhaps they can figure it out.
There is so much more I could say – this story broke me in a lot of different ways. Louisa may just be my favorite character so far this year. I laughed – I cried – I fell in love with Will…. I was a complete mess off on through this whole book and it was beautiful….. it helped to remind me why I love reading so much – to get so sucked into a story that everything else around you fades away and you’re only left in their world with your roller coaster emotions.
About the Author, Jojo Moyes
Jojo Moyes was born in 1969 and grew up in London. After a varied career including stints as a minicab controller, typer of braille statements for blind people for NatWest, and brochure writer for Club 18-30, she did a degree at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, London University. In 1992, she won a bursary financed by The Independent newspaper to attend the postgraduate newspaper journalism course at City University.
Jojo worked as a journalist for ten years, including a year at South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, and nine at The Independent where she worked variously as News Reporter, Assistant News Editor and Arts and Media Correspondent.
Jojo has been a full time novelist since 2002, when her first book, Sheltering Rain was published. Since then she has written a further eleven novels, all of which have been widely critically acclaimed.
Jojo has won the Romantic Novelist’s Award twice, and Me Before You has been nominated for Book of the Year at the UK Galaxy Book Awards. Me Before You has since gone on to sell over 3 million copies worldwide.
For more information about all of Jojo’s novels, please visit the books page here.
Jojo lives (and writes!) on a farm in Essex, England with her husband, journalist Charles Arthur, and their three children. (via the author’s website)