Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

I remember so well the first time that I read a book by Jojo Moyes, it was back in 2006 and I was on holiday in Kefalonia.  The book was The Peacock Emporium and I could hardly peel myself away from it, since then I've read everything that she has written.
One of the things that I love about her writing is that you never quite know what to expect, her books are all so very different, she certainly doesn't have a set formula to write to.
I was delighted to receive an advance copy of her latest novel, Me Before You which will be published by Michael Joseph in January 2012.

Me Before You is a love story, but a painful story.   We meet Lou, an ordinary 26 year old, from an ordinary town who has just lost her job.  We meet Will - handsome, rich, successful, popular and confined to a wheelchair.   Will is frustrated and angry with life and has decided that he is not prepared to live like this, his wish is to go to Dignitas in Switzerland to end his life.   Lou is determined that she will make him see that his life can be worth living and plans a series of adventures for him.

Jojo Moyes
Although the subject matter may seem off putting and depressing, this really is an uplifting story.  Jojo Moyes has created two wonderfully lifelike characters surrounded by a fabulous supporting cast that despite the seriousness of the main theme deliver some really funny moments.   The subject of assisted suicide will be debated for a long time, with eveyone having their own opinion.  Jojo Moyes has very cleverly got inside the head of someone who has made his choice, who is aware of what that choice will do to those who love him, but is determined.
Falling in love can be the most beautiful thing in the world, but it can also be the most painful.  This story tells of the complexities of love, the complications of making huge decisions and also that it's wrong to judge people's decisions without taking into account those complications.

For me, this is Jojo Moyes' best novel to date.  It's genuinely moving and captivated me from beginning to end.

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