Thursday, May 19, 2016

review: me before you by jojo moyes

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After the café where Louisa Clark worked closed, her job prospects were not good. She tried working at a chicken processing plant and being a home energy adviser, but did not experience success in those roles. Being a care assistant for a quadriplegic is pretty much her last choice (having declared she won’t work anywhere that would give her dad a heart attack), but Lou interviews for the job after being assured she won’t have to wipe anyone’s bottom. Lou soon finds herself working for a curmudgeonly, but attractive man who pushes her beyond her comfort zone.

As Lou says toward the end of Me Before You, this is not a conventional love story; it might not even be a love story at all. As the title states, this is a novel about putting me before you, which is to say the characters are supremely selfish. And yet, it works. The selfishness and self-absorption just makes the characters seem realistic when it would have been easy for Jojo Moyes to turn them into wonderfully self-sacrificing people given that one of the central characters is disabled. What Me Before You really does is show how the choices a person makes also affect the lives of the people around him or her. It is a powerful novel.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Penguin.

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