All it took was one moment for Will Traynor to become the victim of a horrific accident which drastically changed his life. This successful, affluent, fiercely independent and adventurous man became a paraplegic who was now dependent on others for almost everything. Two years later, the same moment would impact Louisa Clark’s life as well. Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes, is their thoughtfully told story.
Louisa has lost her job and after her options become limited she agrees to interview for the position of companion to Will. Even though she has no training or experience in this area, Will’s mother hires her. Louisa is told there is a six month contract. From the beginning, Will and Louisa’s relationship does not go well. He is difficult to be around and Louisa is not sure as to what is actually expected of her with one exception- Will is not to be left alone for more than fifteen minutes. Over time, the situation becomes tolerable as they find a way to coexist, but then, unexpectedly, Louisa discovers the reason for the six month contract. From that point on their lives change again. With sensitivity and great skill, the author allows the reader to see through the characters eyes and we become part of their world. Keeping in mind that had there not been the accident it is not likely Will and Louisa would have ever met. They lived in different worlds. Will was a child of privilege. Louisa came from a working class family who depended on her income. Her love-hate relationship with her sister was exhausting and frustrating. Her relationship with long term boyfriend was not exactly satisfying. The one thing they all agreed on was that Louisa should accept the position. But this, too, would change.
This is an exquisitely written novel. The story has the right blend of hope, sadness, wit and disappointment. It is a love story as well as a story about love. We may or may not agree with the actions and choices the characters make. However, we will not forget them.
I received this book free of charge from Net Galley and I give this review of my own free will.