Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes

22 Feb
me before you jojo moyes

Five of Five Stars

I finished this book and immediately texted a friend: “I just read the most emotional book!!! 😦 😦 😦 ”
“What was it about?” she asked.
“Girl is hired as caregiver to a quadriplegic, she falls in love (of course), but he wants to commit suicide.”
I read my text again.
“Omigod, this book sounds terrible!” I texted, “But it’s NOT!!”

I was talking to my daughter about it later and she asked if this was “just a chick-lit” book. And honestly, it kind of is, but what I kept thinking about during the time I read it was that the chick lit genre is getting REALLY GOOD. With authors like Jojo Moyes and Liane Moriarty, we’re getting “chick lit” with strong women and real problems. Real women and real lives.

Louisa Clark is a very very flawed protagonist, settling into the wasted life of a loser. But she’s not just a ditzy dope, she’s fallen into those habits because of a traumatic event that changed the course of her life. And she doesn’t just fall in love because she’s holding on to the notion that a woman is not complete with a man – she truly falls in love with this man and it is a very very believable love.

The book wasn’t perfect. Sometimes the storytelling was a bit dry as we hear all the details of Will’s care and often it felt as if it was just a way to explain the difficulties of caregivers (and their charges). But I still loved following along with their adventures, and wondering exactly how it was going to end. The ending was not a surprise, but you can’t really be sure what will happen until it does (or doesn’t).

The topics of assisted suicide and the right to die are dealt with well here, and both sides are argued intensely. I believe in the right to die myself, but still felt myself on Louisa’s side, wondering why she couldn’t convince Will to change his mind, wondering why she wasn’t enough, and trying to imagine myself in Will’s position.

It’s a lovely book and the ending was handled so well that I have no choice but to give it five full stars.

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