National storytelling week finds the first episode of Victoria King’s online book club. This time she’s read Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You and promises NO SPOILERS.
I tend to pick the genre of my next read depending on my mood, with “go to” authors for each one. Want to feel scared? James Herbert. Need a good legal drama? John Grisham. And if I want a read crammed full of honest relationships I go to Jojo Moyes.
Me Before You is a Moyes classic.
Lou Clark is a quirky girl, contented with her small life, which revolves around working in the Buttered Bun Café. She knows how many steps it takes from the bus stop to home.
One day she is made redundant, but she has to support her family.
She needs to get a job and is offered the role as a carer for Will Traynor.
Lou’s a great character and you’ll root for her in her quest to make a difference. She’s determined and plucky and I found myself shouting, “Go girl!” when she stands up for herself.
If you’ve ever been in the position where both your health and independence are taken from you, for even the shortest time, you sympathise with Will’s position. But also Lou’s when she tells him, “You don’t have to behave like an arse.” (At this point I went so silent I could hear a pin drop; the tension is intense.)
Her tireless efforts to make a difference to his life keep you guessing – and you’ll no doubt burn the tea and forget to pick up the kids so set the time aside in advance. This is not a book you can easily put down.
Lou and Will’s story doesn’t pull at your heart strings; rather it puts your heart in a vice and crushes it. It made me reflect upon times when I have felt helpless or determined and there are moments where I held my breath: a sharp inhale, a sad exhale.
Me Before You is published by Penguin
This is a very real book and Will’s health issues are talked about with frank accuracy.
Moyes deals with Lou and Will’s problems with a sincerity and honesty that makes their story all the more captivating. She’s a modern day Jane Austen, creating characters who are so real, you feel you are reading about people in your circle of friends.
I have read this book three times and will certainly read it again. I hope the film, out in the UK in September 2015, does it justice. Take a friend and a box of tissues.
For next month I felt the need for a ride on a roller coaster so I have taken on Terry Hayes’ thriller I Am Pilgrim. Grab a copy if you want to join in.
Victoria is working on her first book. She is also a flag-waving survivor of Crohn’s Disease. And she loves a Mr Whippy.