My penultimate book of the year, and the final book in my 2013 Bingo Card. Louisa “Lou” Clark loses her job as a cafe and has to take a job as a care assistant for a rich playboy adventurer who’s ended up paraplegic in a wheelchair after an accident. He’s absolutely vile to her at first, but they gradually develop a friendship and an understanding. Then Lou realises that he plans to travel to Switzerland to commit assisted suicide at the end of her six month contract, and decides she needs to change his mind.
I loved Moyes’s previous novel, The Last Letter from Your Lover, and though I would say that I didn’t like this one as much, it was still a very pleasant read. Me Before You is both better and not as good as The Last Letter from Your Lover. The earlier novel had a parallel story line setup with a story set in the 50’s/60’s as well as one set in the modern day, and the one focused on the earlier timeframe was just amazing. Nothing in Me Before You was as strong as that relationship or story but this novel as a whole was definitely much better than the modern day part of The Last Letter from Your Lover. In fact, I was a bit worried before I started this because the modern day characters in The Last Letter didn’t appeal to me as much, so I was a bit skeptical about an entire novel in the modern era. Fortunately, my fears were unfounded, and overall this is a strong story.
I just graduated from law school, and I had a week off before studying for the bar. I wanted to fill that week with easy to read, fun, fantasy chick lit and my mom lent me her copy of Me Before You. She loved this book, her book club loved this book, and I enjoyed this book…up until the ending.
This book is the story of Louisa Clark, a young woman in her mid-twenties who just lost her job at the small cafe and bakery where she works. Lou is trapped in her small town life, she rarely leaves her hometown, she’s unwilling to explore her passions and she’s basically just…stuck, as many twenty-somethings are. The unemployment office finds her a job as a companion to a young quadriplegic man.
It’s hard to know how much of the plot to describe without veering into spoiler territory. Lou has a long term, exercise obsessed boyfriend. And her employer, the enigmatic Will, lived a life of adventure and action before an accident rendered him quadriplegic. There are two parallel stories here. One is Lou’s personal story, as she struggles to support her family during the recession and works through her personal traumas in her past in an attempt to find a life that is her own. And the other is Lou’s romantic story, as she struggles with her growing feelings towards her employer and her waning feelings towards her boyfriend.