by Jojo Moyes
Series: Me Before You #1
Published by: Penguin
Narrator: Susan Lyons, Anna Bentink, Steven Crossley, Owen Lindsay
Length: 14 hours and 40 minutes
Purchase: Amazon | Audible
Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.
Jojo Moyes has been an author on my wish list forever it seems. When I saw trailers popping up for the movie Me Before You (trailers that I did not watch, because, well spoilers darling) I decided it was time to read Me Before You. After listening to a sample of the audio, I knew I had to listen. Quirky, romantic, heartbreaking and thought-provoking I devoured Me Before You.
Lou Clark is such a unique character and Susan Lyons captures her brilliantly as the narrator. Lou is twenty-six and lives at home in a windowless bedroom she refers to as the box. When she is laid off she fears finding suitable employment. She answers an ad for a disabled caregiver and the next six months will forever change her. Moyes takes us into Lou’s home where we meet her family and I loved this added thread. We really get to understand Lou and thus the impact Will has on her is more profound.
Will Traynor is a thirty-five year old quadriplegic who only has limited movement in one hand. Will lived a life most of us will only dream of. He was a wildly successful venture capitalist, who traveled the world and spent weekends adventuring before a horrific accident changed his life. He now spends his days in chronic pain, confined to a chair. Will is bitter, closed off and rude through the first half of the story and poor Lou is downright awkward. Despite the great pay, this job is a nightmare. Things change when Lou overhears a discussion between Will’s mother and sister. She sets out to change the outcome and is determined to make Will happy.
The chemistry and friendship that develops between Will and Lou pulled at my heartstrings. We see growth in Lou even as she stumbles. I came to love Will, which led to huge crocodile tears as I listened. I laughed, cried and hugged myself as Lou and Will experienced things together and faced setbacks. While not a typical romance, the emotional impact of their relationship made it one of the best love stories I have ever read. Moyes pulled emotions from me as she brought these characters to life and made them real for me.
You will notice there is quite the cast of narrators. We had a few chapters from other characters, which only added to the tale, and one narrator was the voice of Will as Lou read his letters.
Me Before You is a heartbreaking love story. It is gritty, realistic and one that will stay with you long after their story has ended. Moyes captures a moment in time as she makes the reader question and understand all sides of a controversial moral issue.
Grab some truffles, a box of tissues and lose yourself in Me Before You.
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