Title: Me Before You
Author: Jojo Moyes
Published: 2nd Jan 2012
Louisa Clark is a bright, joyful and energetic young woman who finds herself jobless after the café she has been working at for the last 6 years closes. After numerous visits back and forth to the job centre, so accepts that she needs to either retrain – which she can’t afford – or try something completely new. There is an appealing position as a carer for a quadriplegic patient, which pays well and is close to Lou’s home. It’s not something she feels confident doing, but she can’t turn it down.
Her patience is not the elderly incapable man she expects, but is a young, intelligent, witty and, most importantly, attractive man called Will Traynor. Two years previously, Will was the victim of a motorcycle accident, and has since then lost his desire to live. He was a man who loved to travel the world, play sports and enjoyed his fast paced job in London. Of course, that’s all changed by the time Lou is brought in as a companion to cheer him up, and help him find a reason to continue living.
On the surface, ‘Me Before You’ is a love story, but once you start to read you realise it is so much more. The pages are full of emotion, both Lou’s and Will’s, although for different reasons. There is lots of humour, for me this was mainly from Louisa’s family who are written and fleshed out perfectly, and remind me of my own family so much. There is then a whole other mood when Louisa learns just how difficult Will’s life in the wheelchair is.
This book has definitely made me think about how easy it is for me to wake up, dress myself, feed myself and get on a tube and travel into London. For Will, those once simple tasks are now impossible, and it is important as an able bodied person never to take that for granted.
I went into this book thinking it was a light romance, not really knowing anything at all about it, and I can officially say now it is anything but light. There are moments that will really pull at your heartstrings and make you want to curl up and sob, but don’t let that put you off. This is a story not to be missed, and with the film adaption due to hit cinema screens in May (with Emilia Clark as Lou and Sam Claflin as Will) it’s unlikely this is the last you’ll hear of ‘Me Before You’.