The topic of assisted suicide has resurfaced in the media with a few publicized cases as of late. Art imitates life as they say, and this is the case with Jojo Moyes latest book, Me Before You. The story is about the relationship that develops between plain jane Lou Clark who has lived in the same quiet British village her whole life, and the worldly former business tycoon/womanizer/extreme sports enthusiast Will Traynor who has been left a quadriplegic after a motorcycle accident.
After Lou loses her job at the local cafe, she trepidatiously accepts the position of ‘care assistant’ to Will. In the beginning, this mainly consists of making tea, vacuuming and trying to stay out of Will’s way (he isn’t exactly thrilled with having a full-time babysitter). Needless to stay it’s a bit of a rough start, but over time they warm to each other in a playful badgering kind of way. They are polar opposites – Will (in his pre-accident life) was an adventure seeker; Lou on the other hand has built her life out of sticking to what she’s comfortable with.
When Lou discovers the reason why the Traynors hired her for a six month contract, she embarks on a mission to show Will he has plenty to live for. In the process, Will shows Lou what she’s been missing in her sheltered life and forces her to expand her horizons.
Although I was somewhat disappointed with the quality of the writing, I was totally enthralled in the story. It tugs at your heart-strings and has well-developed characters that you can’t help but love. The interactions with Lou’s family are often laugh out loud funny (if you’re a fan of British humour) including her recliner-inhabiting Grandpa. One could argue that this is a tragic love story, but it’s so much more – it’s about family, relationships, the complexity of life and death, and the decisions we make. It is definitely worth the read.
If Me Before You sounds like the kind of story that’s right up your alley, check out some of these read-a-likes available at your local GPL branch: