Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
I accepted this book from a friend a little reluctantly… who really wants to read a book about a woman who, desperately seeking a new job after her job at the coffee shop was terminated, is hired to care for a 35-year old quadriplegic? I imagined it would be terribly depressing and predictable. I was pleasantly surprised at how wrong I was. This book was solidly written, delved into issues of class and love and the value of living life to its fullest, whatever that means.
The main character, Louisa Clark, is refreshingly unique and strong and struggles with her ward, Will, even as she is determined to push him to want to live in spite of his devastating injury. In fact, each of the characters is sympathetic in his or her own way. We briefly hear from the voices of each of the other main characters in the book, with the noted exception of that of Will. Everyone is trying to read Will and understand his thinking and through the story we get to know him and what he struggles with on a day to day basis. But the story is more about the development and growth of Louisa as she is exposed to him and this makes it more interesting, actually.
What I loved about this book is the juxtaposition of one who is limited in how he can live with those who are near him who, as he sees it, do not take advantage of living and do not live to their fullest potential. I think there is a lesson for all of us AB’s (able-bodied) to think about…