Monday, 25 February 2013

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Paperback, 482 pages
Published January 5th 2012 by Michael Joseph (UK) (first published December 31st 12)
ISBN 0718157834 (ISBN13: 9780718157838)

Blurb: “Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.”

This book is fantastic.

I thought about leaving it there but I thought if you’re reading this then you probably want to know a bit more about it. This story is about Lou and Will. When Lou loses her job she eventually finds a new job as a companion for a man who is disabled. From the moment they meet their relationship is tense, and funny and inspiring.

This is not just a love story, it tackles a lot of issues about disability and how people are treated. The author even mentions small things about the difficulty of getting round London in a wheelchair because only a minority of the tube stations have lifts, which I had never considered before but now I can’t stop noticing how many shops have steps up into them, or how restaurants have tables so closely packed together it’s doubtful that a wheelchair could fit in there. The more I think about disability the more I think how unfair it is that as well as having to cope with their physical problems, society seems to be against them as well and it the issue just seems to be ignored most of the time.

An even bigger issue in this book is the question of euthanasia and if it is acceptable, understandable, right or wrong, if the families are cruel and heartless for helping their loved ones to die with dignity… I won’t mention my views on the subject but I think that the author deals with the issue in a really considerate manner.

I wept buckets of tears at this one, I was left a snivelling wreck… if you’re looking for something jolly this probably isn’t for you. That is not to say that the whole book is gloomy, there were lots of moments where I laughed out loud. However, it can be difficult to read about, both due to the issues that are discussed and because it can make you view yourself and your attitudes differently. I don’t want to say any more and spoil the story for you because there are so many other things that happen. The characters are fantastic and Jojo Moyes has the effortless writing ability, which can be so elusive, which draws you in to her beautiful story.

This is about finding hope in the darkest times of your life.

Just read it! 9 out of 10.

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