Me Before You: Book Review by Dinh
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Me Before You Summary
At 26, Louisa Clark thought of herself as an ordinary girl living an ordinary life which suited her to the ground until she looses her job.
Louisa worked at the Buttered Bun café until it closed down unexpectedly. Now jobless, she is desperate to find a job.
Louisa’s close knit working class family relied on her wages. Her younger sister Katrina (Treena), a single mother, works at the flower shop but hardly made much, and her father Bernard who works at the furniture factory was fearful of the possible redundancies that were rumored. Louisa’s mother has to look after Granddad so can not afford to work.
After doing a few odd jobs, Louisa gets offered a job as a care assistant for a private family looking after a disabled man. The job is only two miles from her home, on the other side of the medieval Stortfold castle, and making more money than she had at Buttered Bun café, she accepts the position.
Louisa’s job is to be a companion and to care of 35 year old, Will Traynor. Will was involved in a road accident two years previous which left him as quadriplegic.
About Jojo Moyes
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is brilliant! I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
This is a romance novel that was published in 2012 in the UK and was highly praised. The movie adaption is due to be released June 3rd, 2016.
Moyes worked as a journalist for 10 years, of which nine years were at the newspaper The Independent before turning to a full time novelist in 2002.
Moyes novels in order are:
- Sheltering Rain (2002),
- Foreign Fruit (2003) (published in the US as Windfallen)
- The Peacock Emporium (2004), The Ship of Brides (2005)
- Silver Bay (2007)
- Night Music (2008)
- The Horse Dancer (2009)
- Last Letter from Your Lover (2010)
- Me Before You (2012)
- Honey Moon in Paris (2012)
- The Girl You Left Behind (2012)
- The One Plus One (2014) (published in the US as One Plus One)
- After You (2015)
Moyes won the Romantic Novel of the Year award for Foreign Fruit in 2004 and Last Letter From Your Lover in 2011.
Moyes has written a page turner. The 369 pages Me Before You went fast as it was an easy and engrossing read. Though descriptive, the novel contained a whole lot of speech which helped the story move along quickly.
I read this book in a few days as I wanted to read it whenever I had a few spare minutes. I couldn’t get enough!
As a British author, Moyes does a great job in highlighting the cultural differences between the working class and the upper class. The novel is very realistic and believable.
It is a tale that is accurately written through the usage of quintessential English slang and the accepted standard working class attitude and conduct.
The novel is written mainly in Louisa’s perspective although we do get other character’s perspective. To change things up we get Treena’s, Camilla’s (Will’s mum), Steven (Will’s dad), and Nathan’s ( Will’s private nurse) perspectives.
Jojo Moyes characters are relatable and distinct. Each character is well defined and understood.
We can relate to Will’s condition and outlook on life through the nitty-gritty reality that Moyes describes. Insights of the daily pain and frustrations of Will’s life are not sweep up under the carpet but laid out in detail for the reader to grasp.
Will’s temperament is not only affected by the physical pain but by his mental suffering from the agonizing torture of not being the man he was – an able body man who lived life to the fullest. He was a man who made deals, traveled the world and did extreme sports. Given the situation, his moodiness, anger and spitefulness are understandable.
Moyes does a great job in capturing the character Louisa. At the heart of it, Louisa is a girl who has has not done anything with her life. She lives within her comfort zone; had a job and a boyfriend for several years and has not gone or done anything beyond the small village that she lives in.
Louisa life is almost the exact opposite to Will’s. She has a “small” life and he had a “big life”.
Louisa’s transition and growth in the book is appealing and helps the reader connect to her. She changes for the better as her self confidence and abilities grows through Will pushing her to “live big”.
She is admirable, though has a quirky sense of style, in her outlook and determination to make Will’s life bearable.
These two opposing and unlikely people make a great love story that starts off fettered by Will’s unwillingness to make Louisa’s life easy. Nevertheless, before long a love grows where you don’t expect it.
Prepare to cry!
I must confess that I cried a couple of times in the book. I was not prepared for this as I was not expecting it to be so powerful moving.
I was expecting funny and quirky novel but not sad. This emotive book surprised me in many ways and I couldn’t be happier at this unexpectedness.
The story is deeply moving, especially the last part of the book. It just broke my heart as well!
In a romance novel, love usually wins over everything. Not in this case with Me Before You, where love is not enough. I cried because it wasn’t enough, how can that be?
When love is not enough….Prepare for an onslaught of emotions going bonkers!
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