Monday, May 28, 2012

Me Before You


Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is a sentimental yet realistic story of a woman who is afraid to test her boundaries and a man who isn’t.

My first thought on reading Me Before You was that it is quite similar to the Hindi movie starring Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai - Guzaarish. Indeed the premise is the same. Will Traynor seems to have it all – money, looks, charm – until he is involved in a horrific accident which leaves him bed-ridden and dependent on others for everything. Lou Clark is the reluctant helper appointed to assist him.

Will is filled with bitterness and anger as he resents his fate and the fact that he doesn’t really have anything to look forward to anymore in life. Lou on the other hand is trying to find herself even as she struggles to be rid of a painful past. While everyone in Will’s life tread carefully afraid of irking him, Lou will have none of it. She refuses to be bullied by him and ignores his taunts and tantrums. She charms him with her spirit, outspokenness and a strange vulnerability. Over time a comfortable bond begins to develop between them – which eventually blooms into a fragile relationship. But what about Lou’s boyfriend? Where does he fit into this picture? And with Will having no future to speak of, where will this relationship end up?

I found this book to be an entertaining read. The ending moved me to tears – as I was desperately hoping for things to take another turn – but they don’t. This is the first book I've read by this author. I got it from a book club that I am a member of and I was fully expecting a typically romantic, candy-floss novel which would probably make me roll my eyes heavenwards with its unbearable clich├ęs. But this book definitely went a step beyond that. 

Even if a little predictable, it wasn’t boring as it was fast-paced and things kept moving along swiftly. Although dealing with a difficult situation, the author doesn’t dwell too heavily on the depressing angles and instead manages to lighten the mood with ironic humour; which is why it makes the poignant moments tug at your heart strings and makes you wish fervently for a happy ending. In the end however, one cannot say that the ending is tragic – rather it is a practical one where each person discovers and embraces what is best for them in life.

Saying anything more would give away the story - so I'll stop here. But if you are looking for a moving and absorbing read, go for it!

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