2014: 9. Me Before You

"When he emerges from the bathroom she is awake, propped up against the pillows and flicking through the travel brochures that were beside his bed."

Me Before You, Jojo Moyes

This is actually the first book I was able to read and complete after my surgery.  So while I may be critical in the paragraphs that follow, I want to straight up start by commending this book for being interesting enough to get me back into books.  Thanks, JoJo Moyes!

I bought the book on a whim when I was making an Amazon.com order - it was in a "if you like this, you'll like that" recommendation with a whole bunch of girly fluffy books that I bought myself.  And it is fine.  I read it cover to cover, and enjoyed it well enough.  But I read it months ago, and from here I have a very "this was perfectly adequate" feeling about it.  It's the story of Louisa, who had never had much ambition - she happily worked in a cafe for years, while her sister was the one who was supposed to be the smart one, the one who was going places.  But when the cafe unexpectedly closes, she take a job with Will - a former stockbroker and adventure lover who is now a quadriplegic, just wasting out his days.  Can you guess what happens next?  {Herein lie spoilers}

Well, you're HALF right.  They do totally fall in love, and she is changed forever, and her horizons expanded, and he, who has given up on life, finds some happiness again.  BUT THEN (and this is the BIG spoiler so stop now if you don't want to know) he decides that even though he loves her, it's not enough, and his life as a quadriplegic  is so miserable (and to be fair to the author, it does seem really, really miserable), that he has decided to go to Switzerland and commit state allowed suicide.  And despite Louisa's best efforts she can't convince him otherwise.  So there is that.

So, this wasn't what I was expecting when I bought my girly fluffy books, and you might think that it wouldn't work for me, given that I am myself recovering from a serious life-threatening medical condition (though knock all the woods, my health is great right now).  For example, I recently bought a copy of The Fault in Our Stars on sale at TJ Maxx, only to realize that I cannot imagine ever wanting to re-read that book.  I may just be taking a "no cancer book" policy for the rest of my life.  And suicide because of quadriplegia is not so different.  But, for whatever reason it didn't phase me - no tears from this heart of stone.  I'm not saying it's because the author didn't do a good job making me care about her totally hokey tug at the heartstrings plot.  I'm just saying.

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017