Before I go too far into this post I would like to give you a little personal information about me. For the most part I do not like to go into controversial topics on my blog that deal with religion, politics or personal choices but I am also one that loves to review books in this space and will continue to do that even when the book involves a controversial issue.
A little background on me:
I was brought up in a Lutheran church and school and even attended and graduated from a Lutheran College. I had every intention of becoming a Director of Christian Education with the Lutheran Church (youth director) but God had other plans and that is okay. I consider myself a God fearing and God loving woman that also finds herself to be a liberal, all-inclusive, coexisting, moral based faith holder. Take me or leave me. Love God or Hate God – show your kindness and morals I will respect you. Now, all that being said – I was certainly taught the laws of the Good Book but also find myself in total belief that my maker created and delivered free-will and the laws of loving one another (EVERYONE).
Now time for my review and thoughts on the controversial novel written by Jojo Moyes, Me Before You.
WARNING – Spoilers!!!!
“Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.
What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of color. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.”
I picked this book up while in the airport waiting to board my plain in NYC. I saw the cover and remembered I had seen a trailer for a new movie that was based off of this book and decided to give it a read. I knew it was about a young man that had an accident and could no longer care for himself. I also knew that there had t be some sort of love story due to the movie poster but other than that, I was clueless about the MAIN piece of this novel.
I instantly fell in love with Lou and kind of hated Will for awhile, I mean come on, he was so rude to Lou. But then that love that wasn’t even romantic love shown through both of them as the story continued.
Lou simply wanted to do her job of care taking for Will perfectly and she did it perfectly in her own way. Will finds happiness in his very difficult position in seeing Lou happy. Both of them experience events that go way out of their comfort zone and they enjoy it. They laugh, they cry and they live. Exactly what Will needs but as Lou finds out through a visitor, it is not enough for Will.
I know you were wondering about that controversial piece – it is assisted suicide or dignity in dying. Will is done, he has told his family he is done and will make his decision in 6 months – that is why Lou was hired, although she was unaware of that piece of her job description. The novel continues – we live through them and see the journey of growth they both make.
As the novel ends, I found myself completely in Lou’s shoes. I was crying, I literally cannot remember the last novel I cried over. This journey, this decision (both Lou and Will) and this love – so powerful.
Just like so many other BIG controversial issues, I seem to go against the norm of those I practice the same religion with. I am not here to be called a bad Christian but I am here to give you a novel that will have you thinking so deeply about your beliefs and ideals when it comes to dignitas. To deeply love someone so much to decide that their decision is the best decision for them is amazing, especially when that decision is so final. Losing a person you love is heartbreaking but losing yourself has got to be the worst feeling in the world.
Even if you are a person who believes that dying with dignity is something that no one should ever have the option to do, I recommend this book. It is a great way to see the journey of a person leading the dignitas line. I feel in love with both of these characters and felt like I was in that big castle enjoying a movie with them. This book is amazingly written and I have recently purchased the second book that Jojo wrote to continue the story of Lou and Will. I have heard that the book, as usual, is much better than the movie. I do plan on seeing the movie but know that my expectations cannot be high!
Amanda Kee says
I am a reader. I buy book after book after book even though I don't have time to read like I want too. Now I am gonna have to buy this.. Thanks! Just Thanks!! Hahaha. I love a good story and this sounds like a good book! =D
Joely Smith says
Hi! I have not read the book and have considered seeing the movie because it seems to have a lot of good messages – religion aside. To be honest I was not even aware via the movie trailers that it had a religious aspect to it. I am a lot like you, I was brought up very religious. I now consider myself spiritual – not religious.
I have been super curious about this one. Heard an interview on NPR with the author. She's an odd duck, but it intrigued me quite a bit! Thanks for the review.
Cassie Tucker says
My husband has similar beliefs as you. He was brought up in a very conservative church but has found himself becoming a very liberal person in the last decade. He is very much about free will while still keeping his belief in God. I think he would be interested in this book BECAUSE of the controversial issue and discovering how he feels about it. I might recommend it to him.
I saw the movie (and will have to read the book) and bawled my eyes out. I don't think anyone had dry eyes in that theater. It really touched my heart and I can definitely see why he did it. He was so full of life and to have ti all taken away is just heartbreaking. I think he gave some valid points on his decision and if love didn't change his mind – nothing else would. I love love Emilia Clarke in the film – I love her in Game of Thrones and I love her in this film.
Rochkirstin Santos says
I also can't remember which novel I read where I cried a river. Actually, it's been a while since I read any novel. It's interesting that the controversial issue is assisted suicide. It can be looked through at so many perspectives and arguments. Whether or not we as a society should pass laws sanctioning "assisted suicide", this has generated intense moral controversy indeed.
So that's what it's about…lol! I've been seeing this book and film mentioned all over the place, even here in little Denmark, but I haven't been curious enough to check it out. I definitely won't read the book, but I may watch the film when it comes to Netflix.
As an American living in Europe, it astounds me how few controversial issues we have over here as compared to the US.
Kristy @ Mommy Hates Cooking says
I rarely make time to read anymore, though I do really enjoy it when I do. I tend to get sucked into books and nothing around me matters until the book is finished. Sounds like that would be the case with this book as well. I love books/topics that make me think deeply and beyond my own little world.
Lisa Codina says
I cannot wait to see this movie! Besides the fact that I love both of these actors, I think this is a beautiful love story. I couldn't even imagine being in this situation.
Gwendolyn Mulholland says
I have not heard of this book or the movie but after reading your review, I am very interested in reading it myself. I cannot imagine being in that situation but have watched many around me suffer until the end. I have mixed emotions on dying with dignity and know that it is not an easy choice for anyone.
Farrah Less says
Were going on a long road trip this coming July to NYC and I would love to bring this book with me. Your review is so clever and really intrigues me. Are they our in any bookstore anywhere? I hope I can find one or maybe e-books in amazon?
I knew I wanted to see this movie this instant I saw the Previews but I had no idea it was a book. From your Review I know that I will definitely be reading this book before I see the movie. Thanks so much for sharing…