In a quiet town of Britain, Louisa Clark is twenty-six and has just found out that she is out of a job. She still lives with her parents, as she is the main person who is supposed to support them. Finding a new job is quite vital but her skills and qualifications are close to nil. In the household, Lou must sacrifice her bigger room to her younger sister, Treena because she went ahead and got knocked up and now needs the room for both her and her son. After a trip to the job bank, Lou gets an interview to be a caregiver for a wealthy thirty-five year old quadriplegic, named Will. Since the money is good, there is no way for Lou to reject it. What follows is a new stage in her life which will change everything she knows about quadriplegics, but most importantly, herself. She second guesses her long-time relationship with her triathalon obsessed boyfriend, Patrick; she realizes that Will’s happiness should absolutely be a priority and she discovers her strengths through these two challenges. Meanwhile, Will is determined to end his life gracefully at Dignitas in Switzerland, right when Lou’s six-month contract ends.
When Lou finds out about Will’s plan, she confides in Treena and together they try to come up with ideas of how to change Will’s decision. Despite the shaky start to their relationship, Will becomes softer to Lou and she begins to have feelings for him. Lou joins a forum for paraplegics and their caregivers, to help give her advice on how to deal with Will’s difficult situation.
Lou and Will form a bond that only they could understand and the two proceed to go on outings or attend events that bring a heartfelt smile to Will’s lips. It is during the six months of Will’s ups and downs that Lou notices the suffering he goes through. She decides to give him the trip of a lifetime to turn his permanent torture into brief bliss.
True love knows no bounds … or does it? Perhaps the most ironic and touching part of the novel is the fact that an ill person gives a totally fresh perspective on life to a completely healthy being.
Sadly, Will would not have become the man he is or met Lou if it weren’t for his accident and Lou in turn becomes someone who she never would have imagined becoming.
Moyes’ romantic tale will make you laugh and cry. It will also open your eyes.
If you are a member of the library, we have this title currently in Hard copy, Large Type and CD audiobook. This may or may not change in the future. Please check the catalog frequently for an update of formats.
To read reviews on Me Before You, please click on the links below.
From The New York Times.
From The Independent.
For information on Jojo Moyes, click below:
Here are a couple of questions to ponder on, after finishing the book:
-If you were Louisa, would you have quit working for the Traynors? If yes, at what point?
-Discuss the meaning of the novel’s title. To whom do the “me” and “you” refer?
For the rest of the questions (which are provided by Litlovers), please click here.
I had a feeling that an organization like Dignitas did exist but I did not know that Dignitas was the real name of the organization. I have really been out of the loop in terms of news, such as this. When Moyes mentions the Rugby player who wanted to end his life at Dignitas, it really was based on truth. Assisted suicide is one of the things they carry out but they also work on prevention, as well. What really shocked me, however, was that apparently, not all people who want to end their life there are terminally ill or dying. I cannot fathom that it is legal to assist someone in dying simply because they are depressed. Euthanasia is definitely a conflicting topic, especially for those who value life and believe that every life is precious, no matter what a person may be suffering through. For more information about Dignitas, click here.
This book reminded me of …
At first, I thought that there was only one or two books that brought similar topics to mind but then I realized that several titles popped into my head because of certain things. One novel was The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, only because in both, there are some witty, funny and charming moments that deal with the relationship of an odd but surprisingly well matched couple in love. The other story was David Nicholls’ One Day. It is also British fiction and focuses on how the female character tries to win her man but the ending is just as sad as in Moyes’ book. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is also about love between two people, where death is inevitable. Finally, Lisa Genova’s Love Anthony and Proof of Heaven by Mary Curran Hackett are both tales where characters must learn to accept the fate of their loved ones, no matter how painful. I would compare Moyes’ work to Bridget Jones only because it has the British humour and the main character has to decide which man she truly loves, just as Louisa must do between Patrick and Will.
Favorite quote from book:
“The thing about being catapulted into a whole new life—or at least, shoved up so hard against someone else’s life that you might as well have your face pressed against their window—is that it forces you to rethink your idea of who you are. Or how you might seem to other people.” (p. 58)
Most cruel moment in the story:
Will’s ex-girlfriend and his friend from work finally come to visit him, only to tell him that they are engaged. I don’t know about you but I really think that move was in poor taste. (p. 49)
Next month’s title:
The Drowning House by Elizabeth Black