There are some novels that we return to after a while; books that resume their places in our hearts as we turn their pages once more. Some stories gain new meaning with a reread, and I believe that to be exactly the type of literature that Jojo Moyes produced when writing “Me Before You.”
Now, I love the tale we have all heard a thousand times too. The love stories where you can predict exactly what will happen. You know it will be difficult by storytelling standards, but love will triumph in the end. As wonderful as these stories are, they often do not reflect the truth.
Something Moyes did in this novel was give readers a taste of the way love usually turns out, in tiny forever’s. This is not a brand-new idea in literature, for example, John Green’s renowned novel “The Fault In Our Stars,” introduced this concept to me for the very first time, that we could have an infinite amount of forever’s. “Some infinities are shorter than others,” Green writes.
In “Me Before You,” we are introduced to the kindhearted, determined and caring Louisa Clarke, who has lived her entire life in a small village with her family. Louisa is described as quite plain, with a life to match–steady boyfriend, close family and a close friend in her sister.
However, everything changes when Louisa takes a job for the former ‘Master of the Universe’ Will Traynor. Will comes from seemingly limitless wealth and even further possibilities which provides him nothing short of a life of luxury, until one tragic accident changes everything and leaves Will completely paralyzed and in need of 24-hour care and supervision.
Will is cold, distant, stubborn and downright mean at times, and still is no match for Louisa. She absolutely refuses to treat him as anything but a grown man, validating his feelings while also not tolerating bad behavior. As the days grow shorter and the months go on, the two grow closer and Will’s happiness begins to mean far more to Louisa than she ever anticipated. Until one day, she discovers the truth of Will’s plans and sets out to do all she can to change them.
“Me Before You” is a story that challenges the ideas we have about what we would do for the one that we love. A truly remarkable novel that poses the question, “What do you do when making the person you love happy, means breaking your own heart at the same time?”
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