Me Before You – Jojo Moyes

This little book (and when I say little, I mean some 500 pages long) came my way last spring, and it took me some time to pick it up. When it comes to these typical chic lit novels, I am always a bit alert. I don’t underestimate them, but keep cautious till proven read-worthy. And it so was! Even though it has many characteristics of the genre, it also has many other features that make it extraordinary different.

It is set in modern day Edinburgh, and in many ways the city plays just as important role as the characters. Page after page the author describes corners and streets, cafes and parks, with an extra load of typical Scottish expressions. The Stortfold Castle is in the background of a few turning points in the plot. Lou is a 20-something girl who works at a small cafe close to the castle, very unambitious and unaware of her own skills. At the beginning of the book, we find her jobless and in a bad relationship, living with her parents, grandpa, her sister and a nephew – the whole lot. On the other hand, Will used to be a successful London-based manager, a lover of extreme sports, who, in a single moment, lost it all together with his will to live. The accident leaves him quadriplegic, and Lou becomes his carer. She is quirky and special, wear odd clothes and does not really think through everything that comes out of her mouth, but Will seems to enjoy her childlike view of life. The author describes in details the daily routine of a quadriplegic person, and the way a family copes with it.


Of course, there are many other minor stories, such as Lou’s relationship with her parents and sister (a former high achiever turned single mum), or Will’s relationship with her ex-girlfriend who is about to marry his best friend. Of course, most of these end with a ‘happily ever after,’ after a few bumps on the road.

Lou and Will are an odd couple and their special connection is something you will think about long after you’ve read the book. I adored the part when they go out together, and the moment when she first realises that she is in love with him. I hated some bits. I cried through others. Yesterday I read online that the film is coming out next year, starring Emilia Clarke (GoT) and Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games 2,3 and 4) and cannot wait to see it on the big screen. Warning: waterproof mascara essential!


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