When defining romantic tragedy, you make think of Shakespeare. For more modern romantic tragedy, Jojo Moyes’ moving novel, Me Before You fits the definition precisely.
The clue of tragedy is not used lightly, where we meet Lou who lives in a quiet English town with a castle, living her easiest, best life working in a café – until the day she is given her final pay packet. She returns to live with her mum and dad when she faces the dilemma that she has to get a job for her family’s sake.
This is where she, luckily, meets Will. Or is he lucky to meet her?
Lou is hired to be Will’s carer, who is confined to a wheelchair as a quadriplegic, meaning he is paralysed from the shoulders down, with only a miniscule amount of movement in his fingers.
This has easily become one of my favourite books EVER, where Jojo Moyes captures the tense atmosphere between the pair instantly. Will makes life as difficult as for Lou, but not more so than he is already suffering, facing his past as his friends continue to live their big lives in the city which he once did.
Critiques say to have tissues nearby, as it becomes clear Lou has been hired by Will’s parents as a last chance to change his mind towards euthanasia.
Jojo Moyes make us aware of the small things we take for granted, including walking, or even a cheesy keep-fit class. I felt inspired and somewhat moved when I read how Will would work hard to get the best from life: learning new languages to visit countries, try out new restaurants, join a squash team, go rock climbing, making time to train oneself up to achieve money to reap such experiences.
Hard work is rewarded. That’s why I like to keep resilient and carry on with what makes me happy and trust me, it is working. (keeps fingers crossed!)
The film adaptation is cheesy yet heartfelt and moving, with the actors fitting the characters almost perfectly to the book.
I loved this book and I hope you do too (I can’t believe I was close to tears reading this!), as Lou tries to find a way to make Will realise there is still something to live for, just as she makes her aware there is more for her to live for.
rating – 5/5
genre – romance, drama. comedy