Title: Me Before You
Author: Jojo Moyes
Synopsis: They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .
Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.
Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.
This novel, Me Before You, has been on my bookshelf for over a year, after getting it at a Book Club Meeting where books were swapped. I’m not too proud of the length of time it has been sitting on my bookshelf; however, it is a sign I have way too many books to read and not enough time. Be that as it may, I finally got to it as it met the criteria for a book challenge in which I am participating.
I am not a romance reader. Actually, I don’t like them at all. Romances are okay if they are a subdued sideline in a book. This novel follows what I consider to be the main basis of most romance stories – boy and girl meet, and dislike each other intensely, then over time, their hearts soften, and they end up in love.
Be that as it may, I have to actually report that I really did like the book, in spite of it being a romance. Will Traynor is a young executive who makes business deals in which he ends up scoring a lot of money. He’s an adventurer, a world traveler, and a risk taker. On a rainy day, as he is running to catch a cab, he is hit by a motorcycle and suffers a C4-5 traumatic injury, leaving him quadriplegic, wheelchair bound, dependent on others for all his care, suicidal, and very angry.
Enter Louisa Clark, a young woman who was born and has lived in their tiny village all of her life. Out of work after a 6 year stint as clerk at a coffee shop, she is laid off and begins a job search. Despite trying other types of work, she ends up hiring on as a companion/caregiver to Will. Yes, it is hate at first sight. Predictable, right? Louisa wants to quit after the first day, but due to family financial problems, she sticks with it. There is a lot of animosity and repartee between the two until they become friends. Will has tried to commit suicide because of his condition, but Louisa tries to get him to see the good in life as well. To find out how things work out, and if Louisa made a crack in Will’s angry facade, you’ll have to read the book (or see the motion picture.)
As a nurse, I always appreciate when people are factual when discussing medical issues. I will say that Jojo Moyes depicted quadriplegia very accurately. I gave the book 4 ½ of 5 stars. Imagine that? For a romance?
About the Reviewer
Hello, I’m Vicky. I’ve been a bibliophile since I first read Raggedy Ann and the Nancy Drew mysteries as a child. Though I have graduated to reading “grown up” books, I do occasionally still enjoy a walk down memory lane with The Hardy Boys and The Boxcar Children.
My idea of the perfect day is relaxing in my “Lazy Girl” chair, listening to rain pouring down outside, nose buried in a book, with a chocolate bar pressed to my lips.