Me before You

Louisa’s sister Treena is the golden girl of the family, the first to attend University, even if she did drop out and have a baby. But feeling she can’t measure up to Treena isn’t the only reason that Louisa has kept her expectations for herself low and her life small.  Relegated to the “closet” bedroom so that Treena and her son can have the larger room, 26 year-old Lou lives in her parents’ home  in a small English town whose economy relies on the tourist trade generated by the local castle. When the owner closes the cafe where Louisa waits tables, she finds grim possibilities at the local job center. Choosing caregiving for a quadriplegic over pole dancing, she begins a job that will have very unexpected consequences.

Once a high powered businessman in charge of his own company, Will’s wealth enabled him to travel, enjoy extreme sports, and live life to the fullest.  When struck by a car while crossing a street, he is left wheel chair bound, with the ability to move only one of his arms slightly.  Book cover for Me before You by Jojo MoyesHe experiences chronic pain and is susceptible to infections.  His prognosis is as bleak as it gets.  It’s no wonder he is bitingly sarcastic and bitter toward the inexperienced Louisa who is hired for a six-month term based on her reputation as being a “people” person.  Of course, the lives of Will and Lou are about to change dramatically. When she overhears a row between Will and his sister, Lou discovers why her term is for exactly six months–at the end of that time, Will has an appointment in Switzerland where it is legal to engage in assisted suicide. Lou becomes determined to change his mind.  In her campaign, she begins to realize her potential.  Will she succeed?

Look at me reading a romance.  Well, I never.  Me Before You is more than a romance, though, with its complex, well developed characters and philosophical underpinnings.  An excellent choice for book discussion groups.