Two Jojo Moyes books in the last two months . . . it’s definitely been that kind of semester. Yes, I’m a stressed out teacher and I’ve needed the literary equivalent of comfort food lately. Moyes does a nice job of creating a story that is just real enough, just chewy enough, yet also hopelessly sweet and optimistic. That is, she clearly believes that even when people stumble and muddle their way through things, there is a purpose and ultimately things will turn out all right. That is exactly what I need right now.
For those of you who haven’t read Me Before You, stop right now and go read it (because I can’t really talk about the sequel without getting spoilery.) You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and then later on this year when the movie comes out, we can argue about the casting choices:
The sequel picks up about six months after Will’s death and Louisa Clark, after an initial few months of adventure abroad, is struggling. She’s moved to London, bought an apartment, and is working as a bartender/waitress in an airport bar. Every day she watches people get on planes and go places but she is stuck. She is grieving but doesn’t want to admit it. However, a freak accident sends her back to her parents’ house and back to memories she’s trying to escape and then things get even more complicated.
Though some of this plot is straight out of rom com world, Moyes gets grief right here and Louisa is frustratingly real in her inability to move on or to realize what she really needs. Of course, there’s a handsome paramedic and a snarky but needy teenager (yes, this is ripe for an adaptation too) but that was just fine with me.
This novel will not change your world or even your political views but it was a perfectly fine way to spend a few hours and root for someone immensely likeable.