Saturday, February 22, 2014

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

This book is classic "chick lit" but enjoyable.  It certainly made me happy and sad in equal measure, hopeful and despondent as it undoubtedly aimed to do.

The story centres on Louisa - a 26 year old woman with only a high school education who lives with her parents in small town England, has never left her town and is destined to marry her boring, personal trainer boyfriend.  Her younger sister was the star in the family until she had a baby as an unwed mother and her and her son also live in the crowded home.

When Louisa loses her job at a cafe she has trouble finding something else so accepts a position as a personal assistant to Will, a quadriplegic who had been a high flying business man in London who spent his spare time in dangerous and exotic pursuits prior to being hit by a motorcycle and permanently injured.  Not surprisingly Will is depressed, sarcastic and rude to Louisa (though one can tell he would have been even more sarcastic and rude to this uneducated somewhat flakey girl prior to his accident).  Louisa soon discovers Will's parents have hired her in an effort to ensure he does not kill himself (which he has previously attempted) in the next six months.  He has asked to be taken to a Swiss clinic where he can commit assisted suicide and his parents have agreed if he waits 6 months to give it some thought.

Louisa is overwhelmed by this and wants no part of it but sticks with the job as her family needs the money.  In time she comes to really care about Will and spends countless hours trying to prove his life is worth living.  At the same time he cares about her and tries to broaden her horizons - with music, books and travel.

I will not reveal what happens at the end of the six months just in case you want an easy and entertaining read.

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