Me Before You – JoJo Moyes

Overheard in the library “I just read Me Before You…you HAVE to read it, it is SO GREAT”…

I put it on my holds list…possibly before the woman who had just had it recommended to her.  I refuse to have a category for Chick Lit because people who love chick lit don’t need to be told and people who feel they don’t like chick lit will immediately discount a book if it falls into that category. Instead, let’s just say that this is definitely a poor girl meets rich boy story. (see my blog on Crazy Rich Asians to learn how I feel about that and note that I am keeping up with my promise!) but there is a lot more to “Me Before You” than that.

We first meet Will Traynor in the prologue.  Wealthy, successful.  His girlfriend (tousled in the bed after a night of lovemaking)  pouts about all of the vacations that he is considering because most of them involve some sort of adventure sport and she would much prefer to lie by a pool in Bali.  He leaves to go to work,the valet advises that it’s too rainy for his motorcycle , so Traynor tosses the keys over, turning down the man’s offer to call a cab for him. As he crosses the street to get catch a cab he is run down by a car.   (page 4, not a spoiler)

In the first chapter we are introduced to Louisa Clark. Twenty-six years old, she spent the last six years working in a cafe which she has just been informed is closing down and she is jobless. A particular hardship since she lives at home with her mother, father, grandfather, sister, and her sister’s young child and she and her father are the only ones providing for the family.  She is happy but her life is surrounded by a certain dreariness – “I remembered, apple juice is expensive”.    She tries to find another job but none of them are particularly suitable and she is not interested in becoming an exotic dancer or phone sex…actress as suggested by her job counselor.  Suddenly, an unusual opportunity is suggested – “Care and companionship for disabled man”.  Without any experience but desperate for a job she reluctantly agrees to go for an interview; to her very great surprise she is hired on the spot.

She doesn’t have to do any ‘personal care’ because there is a medical professional (Nathan) who comes in to take care of all that sort of thing – her main job is to be friendly, entertaining and to do light housekeeping.  The single strange caveat is that the position is only for 6 months.

When describing this book – most of the people use gifs to demonstrate their overwhelming love and inability to describe how much they love the book.  As noted above I grabbed the book on an overheard recommendation but wasn’t particularly motivated to read it until yesterday.  I don’t know the moment that I switched from reading in a La la la type manner to putting aside everything else I had to do for the day so that I could finish the book but that is what happened.

The end was deeply emotionally satisfying (to me) without being twee.  I would recommend it though perhaps not for those that love a certain type of Chick Lit.

Me Before you Bird

This book is available for purchase through Amazon, and may be available at your local bookstore or library.

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