Lou Clark knows a lot 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. There’s a phrase I heard a few years ago , a ‘book hangover’, Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You will most definitely give you the biggest book hangover you have ever experienced.
Lou Clark starts this novel with a happy life, she has a boyfriend – Patrick – of which she spends half her time living with, the other half she lives with her mum, dad, granddad, sister and nephew at home. She has a job at a cute café/ bakery by the castle in her town, when suddenly her perfect world comes crumbling down.
Out of nowhere she loses her job and Patrick becomes completely engrossed in fitness, and instead of spending time with her, he spends it with a group of runners that don’t understand Lou and her quirky ways, and as a result, she feels completely and utterly alone.
With her father on her back, Lou goes off to the job centre to search for a proper job that will keep her busy and that she will stick to. Upon going there she finds a job caring for a physically disabled man, Will Traynor.
Will Traynor has lost the desire to live his life due to the life altering accident he was involved in two years before. He has tried to end his life on multiple occasions and has gone through more nurses than his mother cares to justify. After the last attempt on his life Mrs Traynor – Wills’ mother, managed to convince him to give her just six more months with him. Little did he know, this was an attempt to try and change his mind and make him enjoy the life he has.
Louisa doesn’t always succeed with her plans of making Will happy. She manages to mess up his medication, some how make him unhappier and in a weird twist actually assist him in catching pneumonia, thankfully she has help with the medical side of Wills’ needs with his physiotherapist and medical carer, Nathan.
Will knows exactly what his mother is up to hiring Louisa Clark and her eccentric ways, however she decides to not disclose this information to Lou nor does she explain why her contract will only be for six months. Lou doesn’t realise just how ill Will is, to her she just sees a man who used to be able to walk and is now a paraplegic but she doesn’t see anything else wrong. A couple of months into Lou’s six months Wills’ sister comes to visit Will, initially Lou is asked to take her lunch early so they can have time alone, however after half an hour she needs to get back to feed Will and clean the house some more, as she makes her way back into the annex where Will is living, she hears his mother and sibling arguing in the next room about Will and how his sister can’t believe that he’s actually made their parents agree to assisting him to die in now just four months time.
After she hears this news she’s not sure what to do, does she leave and make it no longer her problem or does she stick around to try and help Will but with the way he treats her, what’s to say he’ll even allow her to help?
After talking it through with her sister she decides she is going to do whatever she can to make Will love his life again, just like he did before the bike accident.
Lou is determined to help Will and make him see sense so she sets about making plans to take Will away and make him see sense.
Throughout the book we get to see all the adventures extravagant adventures Lou thinks up in her head and how Nathan makes them more realistic and hopefully more enjoyable for Will. However this frustrates him because ever since his accident no one asks what he wants, it’s always what they think is best.
Finally, just before the six months is up Will, Lou and Nathan go on holiday to Mauritius. The trip starts off well but ends with a sour note when Will announces that he is only doing all the things that are suggested simply to play along until he goes to Dignitas.
But will Lou allow him to go through with ending his life in Dignitas, will he go through with it or will he see that him and Lou have a good thing and that they can live happily ever after?
All in all, Moyes yet again manages to capture the hearts of the readers with the relatable characters in the novel, it’s full of ups and downs, and you’ll cry, laugh and feel empathy for the people. It’s most definitely a novel that requires a cuppa, fistful of tissues and a day on the sofa.
Until next time…
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