ME BEFORE YOU, by Jojo Moyes, is not my usual read. In fact, when I read the premise of this story I almost put it down. OMG! what a mistake that would have been! I would have missed this fabulous book.
Louisa Clark just lost her job at the little cafe in the small town where she lives in England. She loved her job. It so suited her. It was uncomplicated with no special demands outside her comfort zone. But she really must find another job, soon. Her father is out of work and her mother stays home to care for her grandfather who is elderly and unwell. And then there is her sister, Treena, who is still at home, and has a small child to care for.
When push comes to shove, Louisa agrees to take a job doing something unusual. She becomes a caretaker for a wealthy man who lives up the hill by the castle in town. She assumes he is old and crotchety. He is crotchety but, he is not old. When I first read that this was a love story between a quadriplegic and a young woman who is his caretaker, I really wanted to distance myself from it. I could think it only meant doom and gloom and lots of unpleasantness.
This unlikely pair would never have met under normal circumstances. Will Traynor is a wealthy man in his mid-thirties who was involved in a tragic accident which made him into a quadriplegic. He is basically tied to a very special chair most of his waking life. He is not able to feed himself or do most of the normal stuff we all take for granted. And he hates his life. His days of running a successful business, chasing adventures all over the world, and making love to beautiful women, are all over. And so is his engagement to his gorgeous fiance.
Louisa Clark, Clark he calls her, is stunned when she first meets Will. He is being his usual self: being an ass. This is how he deals with his life. And she is not sure how to act. She quickly decides that most of the people in Will’s life are tippy-toing around him afraid to step on his feelings. Not Clark. She dives right in and gives him a dose of his own medicine.
This story makes you think. About your own life. About everyone and everything. What if? How would you deal with your life if suddenly you were stricken with a debilitating illness? And what if someone you loved became disabled? Would you be able to deal with it?
This is a love story of epic proportions. The writing is amazing and full of spunk. It’s writing with lots of feeling and dialog. It will pull you in and make you captive. I did not want the story to end, ever.
You may find yourself vacillating over the issues presented in this novel. This is a decision I hope I am never involved in. Moyes deal with this beautifully. As the end neared, I slowed to a snails pace. I absolutely loved this novel!
My lovely finished hard cover arrived from Viking, a Pamela Dorman and Penguin Group publisher. I can’t thank you enough for this one. It is, quite simply, amazing.