Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes
Louisa is a 20-something who is the main breadwinner for her family. She just lost her job and is desperate to find a new one. An unusual option pops up at the local Job Center: daytime companion and caregiver to a quadriplegic man named Will. He has another caregiver to do the heavy medical stuff; Louisa’s job will be the lighter caregiver work and general social interaction to lift his spirits. It’s an odd job, but it pays really well, so she takes it. Of course their personalities clash initially- he is sarcastic and bitter, she’s chatty and has no filter. Then they get to know each other and actually like each other. But there’s a darker aspect to the circumstances surrounding Louisa’s hire, and it changes everything when she finds out.
Ok, so, this book. One of my local blogger friends is starting an IRL book club, and this was the pick for our first meeting later this month. It’s the kind of book I may or may not have ended up reading on my own otherwise. It’s contemporary fiction, which I don’t read terribly often. And it takes place in England, so there’s always a bit of an internal adjustment to get used to the slang. And a part of me really liked this book. The characters were interesting and I was invested enough in the story that I teared up at a few parts. But a part of me also really doesn’t like this book, largely because of the incredibly unsatisfying ending. Because this is not just a contemporary romance story, it’s also (and perhaps more-so) a treatise on the lives of severely disabled people and the relative merits of euthanasia. I feel like the ending was more to make a political point than anything else. But it does make you think, and I still overall enjoyed the writing and story. So make of that what you will.