I couldn’t figure out how on earth Jojo Moyes could possibly follow the story of Louisa Clark and the tragic romance with Will Traynor. I thought that it would be one of those attempts at squeezing as much out of a done-and-dusted story as possible, trying to continue the ride on the success of Me Before You…
Yep, now I’m just being a bitch.
But honestly, I couldn’t see how this was going to work.
But you know what? I was pleasantly surprised. I actually had to go back and re-rate Me Before You, because upon reflection, I realised how clever the novel truly was and despite a few of Louisa’s annoying quirks, I actually thought it was a beautifully written, emotive novel.
So Jojo Moyes brings us back to Louisa Clark around a year after everything that transpired with Will. She is struggling with her grief and is just going through the motions of life. She feels as though she hasn’t quite kept up with her promise to Will. She’s traveled, she’s lived abroad and been to all the tourist attractions that were on her list, but still feels a void.
“I loved a man who had opened up a world to me but hadn’t loved me enough to stay in it.”
She ends back in England, living in London and living a mundane life.
After a chance encounter, Louisa meets Sam, the attending paramedic who has just lost his wife and is surprised by a visitor who she could have never expected on her doorstep.
This book is a book about dealing with grief more than much else and for this reason I found it to be incredibly emotional and even at times upsetting, as certain elements seemed to hit me, personally.
“I think people get bored of grief,” said Natasha. “It’s like you’re allowed some unspoken allotted time — six months, maybe — and then they get faintly irritated that you’re not ‘better’. It’s like you’re being self-indulgent hanging on to your unhappiness”
Honestly? I think Jojo Moyes is a genius with this one. It is so succinct.
I think this is my favourite quote from the book. It is so accurate in life. People give up on you if you can’t shake your sadness within the quota of time that they have privately allotted for you. They stop asking, they take a step back and they are so afraid of being polluted by your grief that they disappear from your life until you have recovered.
Louisa was far less annoying in this novel and her parents weren’t as bad, but her Mum is still a basket-case. There was also an impressive character development of Camilla Traynor that I was pleased to see as she was painted as an evil, sterile bitch in Me Before You.
I read 78% of this book in bed last night because I couldn’t put it down. I would probably venture to say that I liked it more than Me Before You! Crazy, right?
There was only one quote that made me laugh/cringe;
“I wanted to resist him, but I couldn’t. I was giddy, diverted, sleepless. I got cystitis and didn’t care”
Ummm… I was sure she was referring to the fact that she had so much sex that she developed cystitis. Let me tell you something, as a chronic cystitis/UTI sufferer, anyone who develops an infection to a degree of cystitis is definitely going to care. That shit is no joke and if you are too careless with it, you’ll end up with a nasty kidney infection like that of what I am actually trying to get through.
Very odd sentence, indeed!
Besides that, I feel like Jojo Moyes did a truly fantastic job with this novel conveying the stages of grief and how there’s no true coffee-cup, over-night solution or recovery.