Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes
I finished one of the best reads of this year’s RA Favorite books in Jojo Moyes’ acclaimed book, Me Before You. Down on her luck, Luisa Clark, a late-twenties waitress, loses her job when her café closes. She needs to find a new job to assist her parents and sister with finances as her father is on the verge of losing his own job. Luisa is sent to the job retraining agency, and they suggest she assists a paraplegic for a six-month contract. Luisa interviews with a stoic older woman, whom Luisa thinks is the wife of the invalid. She is excited by the pay, more than minimum wage, and is surprised when offered the job since she has no prior experience in the field. Luisa’s family is overjoyed by the news but also concerned she will be taking care of an old man. Luisa learns that her patient is Will Traynor, a thirty-five-year-old who was permanently crippled in an auto accident. On her first visit she realizes why the pay was so high for the position – Will is a very angry man who, at the height of his life in business and as a lady’s man, would never be able to take care of himself again. She initially plans on quitting after her first days but is convinced by her sister that the family needs her income. Luisa continues, even when her boyfriend, a top-level athletic trainer and triathlete, suggests this job is more than she can handle. Luisa is thrown a twist when she overhears a conversation between Will’s mother and sister that he is planning on an assisted suicide in Switzerland. This was after a six-month agreement with his parents to hold off on this decision. The rest of the book turns into “a love story” as Luisa works to change Will’s mind. Without even knowing him, she tries to convince him to stay alive and engages Will’s parents in the effort. In the process, Luisa realizes that she loves Will and leaves her boyfriend. The journey with Will is rocky, but he comes to see Luisa as a blessing – but will he change his mind regarding the assisted suicide? This book has it all: ethical/moral decisions, poor/rich connection, and a love story for the ages. Beautifully written with great character development. This is a tear jerker and I certainly shed a few. Hope you get a chance to read this one.