Wednesday, March 06, 2013
ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes
I have never seen "Love Story" with Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal but I have heard many reviewers comparing this book to that ill-fated story. I picked up this book at the library with a pretty good idea about how the story would unfold. While the story itself isn't particularly innovative, surprising or groundbreaking, I was impressed with how Moyes managed to revisit a classic love story trope in a very effective way.
Louisa Clark is a quiet girl who lives a quiet life with her parents in her hometown. She seems to be stuck. She can't find a good job, she can't seem to move out of her parents' house and she continues a long-term relationship with a boyfriend who can neither commit to her nor has anything in common with her. Then, her life is turned upside down after accepting a position as a home aide wheelchair-bound Will Traynor. Will was an extremely successful businessman who loved extreme sports and extreme vacations. All that ended when he was hurt in a pedestrian/motorcycle accident. Will's mental state is as poor as his physical state and Louisa finds her new job more difficult than she expected. Soon, she finds a way to break through Will's tough exterior and the two forge an unlikely connection. This relationship will change both their lives forever.
While it isn't difficult to figure out what will ultimately happen in the book, I think Moyes does a terrific job with the story. The characters are interesting and compelling and we see how they are BOTH damaged in more ways than one. The story reveals how each of us can be held back by traumas and secrets. And how sometimes one person can change everything.
BOTTOM LINE: Recommended. A lovely story about love, loss and recovery and finding one's way in the world. Keep a box of kleenex handy!!!