Two people are thrown together by circumstances, and destiny. When you meet each of them you’re certain that these two personalities are not naturally drawn to each other. That is a description of me before you . . . for them. By that I mean, it’s a description of what they were before coming into each other’s lives, not what they become.
Louisa (Lou) Clark is a working-class girl living a simple life in a tiny village in England. Will Traynor is upper class and now in a wheelchair after an accident ended his life as he knew it. His life was London big city, fast-paced financial deals, extreme sports, beautiful women and world travel. He loved that life. He cannot reconcile himself to what his life has become as a quadriplegic. When Lou loses her waitress job, she accepts a temporary position as Will’s caregiver. They are painfully uncomfortable with each other. And then they get to know each other. They begin to influence each other subtly. Then their influence is overt.
The message that I got from this novel is about the limitations that people artificially place upon themselves, often without even realizing it. It’s an important journey to recognize those limitations, and then to take charge of your life and push yourself to make your life what you want it to be. I felt how important it is to really experience the fleeting gift of your life. This novel is also about the struggle to see people that you care about take charge of their own lives, and perhaps not make the choices you want for them.
“Me Before You” is an incredibly romantic love story, in the midst of life and death issues. This author is skilled at creating characters that endear themselves to you, not despite their shortcomings and idiosyncrasies, but including their whole person. They feel so real.
This is such an incredible story; I don’t want to ruin the beautiful ending because you’ll enjoy completely immersing yourself into every page as it comes. Feeling the thinning number of pages in my right hand as I read on, I felt my reading slow because consciously I did not want this story to come to an end. But still, I wanted to know. And it was well worth reading on. Jojo Moyes has been an author since 2002, and has published several novels. I’m looking forward to reading more of her works.
Thereby hangs a tale . . . .
– By Wendy Kendall
Wendy Kendall is a writer, project manager and volunteer at the Edmonds Library. She’s enjoyed living in Edmonds for over 20 years. Follow her via her blog here or on Twitter @wendywrites1.