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Sunday, 26 June 2016
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Reviewer: Gillian Hamer, author of The Charter, Closure, Complicit, Crimson Shore & False Lights. (www.gillianhamer.com)
What we thought: Okay, hands up, before we start I will be honest and say this book made me cry. Twice. And I don’t cry at books.
So, you probably can tell from the opening that this is going to be an enthusiastic review. In fact, it was the media hype about the new film of the novel, that prompted something in my brain to remember I'd downloaded this book on my Kindle an age ago when it was on promotion. Between reads, I thought I’d give it a try and see what all the fuss was about. And boy, oh boy, am I glad that I did.
This is a story of humanity. It’s a story of people. It’s a story of love, connection, reality, loss and many, many more human emotions that come under the spotlight to be examined and presented by one seriously talented author.
Read the synopsis alone and you would assume this story would be totally depressing … it’s actually anything but. Lead character is Louisa Clark, a bright but aimless girl, who drifts between dead-end jobs until she takes a post as carer to a quadriplegic man. Will Traynor was a high-flying business man in his previous life and is unable to adapt to his disability. Consequently, Will’s not the easiest person to be around, his family are more hindrance than help, and within the first twenty-four hours Louisa comes to realise she’s made a serious mistake.
But over time something between Will and Louisa connects. Yes, they like each other. Eventually there’s even an attraction. But it’s more than that, it’s a soulmate-type connection and a deep understanding that fuses them together. When it stops being just a job to Louisa, and she acknowledges her true feelings about Will, the future seems bright. But then she hears the truth the family have been hiding from her about Will’s plans, and she knows her life will never be the same again.
Yes, I cried. The first time the couple sat down and talked honestly about their feelings and Will opened up about his life. And secondly, the closing scene was so perfect that it was hard to close the page (or power down the Kindle) and I’m pleased to hear there’s a follow-on book to turn too.
So, Me Before You should 100% be on your summer reading list. I don’t read very much in this genre but it’s one of the reads of the year so far for me.
You’ll enjoy this if you like: Paula Hawkins, David Nicholls, Emma Donoghue.
Avoid if you don’t like: Human beings.
Ideal accompaniments: Fish and chips wrapped in newspaper on the beach.
Genre: Contemporary Fiction.
Available on Amazon