You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.
Louisa Clark has just lost her job and needs to find a new one as soon as possible because she helps support her family. She applies to the job centre but nothing seems to work out until her support worker finds an advertisement for a carer/companion. At first Louisa is convinced that Will Traynor hates her and she’ll never be able to stay in the position, but they start to develop an understanding and their friendships grows. Will was a high achiever who lived life to the fullest before the accident that left him paralysed so he challenges the unambitious Louisa to live her life. Louisa also wants to remind Will that life can still surprise you. But will this be enough to change Will’s mind as he plans to end his life through Dignitas, an assisted suicide organisation?
It almost goes without saying that this is not an easy read.
While this is an emotional read, it is also politically charged, dealing with a topic that remains controversial as todays governments fail to reach a majority decision on the terms of assisted suicide. Not everyone who reads this is going to agree with some of the decisions but Moyes seems to anticipate this, offering different voices to the ongoing debate. While the prevailing voice remains Louisa’s, Moyes shifts to alternative perspectives so as readers, we remain informed and can make our own decisions about this moral argument. In this way Moyes handles the topic with dignity and grace while still impressing upon the reader gravity of the situation.
However, Moyes doesn’t give Will the chance to narrate his own story, which I feel is a little reductive given that his character feels he has limited choices in this world. While his opinions are strongly felt throughout the novel, I still think his voice should have been afforded the same opportunity. A more indepth understanding of his perspective would have only strengthened the narrative.
I loved Louisa and her crazy wardrobe. I loved how Will forces her to develop as person and in turn, I loved how she softened his character. I loved that theirs isn’t a conventional love story. I loved this book while absolutely hating it at the same time. I was emotionally wrecked, torn apart from the inside out. I didn’t have enough tissues. I wasn’t prepared. I wasn’t expecting the way it ended. I, just, ugh. JoJo Moyes why do you do this to your readers? I still haven’t recovered and it has been days, DAYS! I’m definitely suffering from a book hangover. Too. Many. Feelings.
This is a must read in my opinion.
P.S. I’m not even sure I can go see the film adaptation when it comes out in June!