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Lindsey's Literary Leanings

Book Reviews - Contemporary Fiction / Biographies / Autobiographies

  • Lindsey Skelton-Smith

Me Before You - Book One of a Trilogy (Author: Jojo Moyes)

Me Before You (Book Cover)

Genre: Romance/Contemporary Fiction/Tearjerker

Me Before You - Book One Of A Trilogy By Jojo Moyes

Lou works in a cafe in her home town. She has worked there for years & loves the daily routine, meeting & serving the same people, the predictability of the same orders & the same stories. Then one day after closing her boss hands her her final wage packet, and tells her her that the cafe has to close.

Devastated, Lou realises that she will have to find other employment as she is the only one in her family earning a wage. After several failed attempts at things she either isn't much good at or doesn't like, she applies for a position for a companion/carer at the Traynors house next to the castle. To her disbelief, she gets the job & is introduced to Will, the son of Mr & Mrs Traynor, a paraplegic following a road accident. After several false starts due to Will's fierce resentment of his situation, they gradually begin to form a friendship.

Then Lou overhears a conversation between Will's parents,.... a clinic in Switzerland.....6 months....and realises that Will is eventually intending to end his own life. She decides together with the help of Treena, her sister that in the remaining months she has with her client & friend she must do all she can to change his mind & with his parents & personal clinician, Nathan, she sets about planning trips, days out & eventually a holiday abroad. Will Lou's efforts to make Will see that his life is worth living be in vain?

I saw the film one afternoon quite by chance on Channel 5. I had time to read the synopsis & the subject really sparked my interest.

Being disabled myself, although not to the degree that Will finds himself, I know what it is like to find yourself unable to do seemingly easy things & also to become less able to do things that you once took for granted. But, I actually cannot imagine the impact it must have on a person who was once 'able bodied', capable of walking, jumping, running, feeding & dressing themselves, to no longer be able to do any of it. That said, in my darkest moments I can truly say that I have been able to understand the mindset of someone who no longer wants to deal with it all.

I bought the DVD & watched the film until I practically knew the script. Then I found that there was a book & purchased it to see how they compare as there were some parts of the film that I was interested as to how they would translate into the written word. The film does become, I feel, a bit of a disappoinent once you have read the book due to the level of detail in Jojo's publication. However, I still love the film & can't imagine another actor & actress playing Lou & Will, which in turn helped me to bring the book to life in my head whilst reading, even the extra parts of the story that weren't in the film. I wouldn't normally recommend seeing the film first but Emelia Clarke & Sam Calflin play their respective roles so perfectly. It is heartwarming heartbreaking.

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