Please, readers, don’t judge this book by its cover. I did think this was an easy chick-lit read full of funny situations, probably about a girl trying to get the man of her dreams, but I was totally wrong – behind the frivolous cover you see there is a deeply sensitive story, and one of the best I have read this year.
Will Traynor is a successful and wealthy business man, whose hobbies are mainly extreme sports, who has an accident that leaves him a quadriplegic. At the third page of the book.
After this shocking start, we meet Louisa Clark, a girl who has just lost her job as a waitress and the only one she is able to get – considering she has no higher education – in the little village where she lives is taking care of a quadriplegic man: our Will. They don’t get on well with each other at the beginning because Will has become grumpy and bad tempered, but Louisa is capable of looking through all that resentment and try to make he see that there are still things that can bring joy to his life.
The story is about Louisa’s efforts to come up with plans for Will – plans that are not always welcome by him, but thanks to her perseverance the readers find themselves committed to Louisa’s cause, praying for that idea to turn out well or feeling sorry when she doesn’t succeed, having she worked so hard.
The cast of secondary characters is also remarkable, and they bring touches of amusement and sorrow to some parts of the story. For example, there is Louisa’s boyfriend and his obsession with triathlons – taking into account that Louisa is not very good at sports, they make a funny couple; or Louisa’s father, who has also lost his job and now their only income is her daughter’s job, so they behave like she is the head of the family, a role she doesn’t want. All these characters make the story more enjoyable, adding what we can called mundane issues (compared to Will’s disability, I mean) to the story.
I would really like you to give Me before you a chance and help Louisa to show Will that his live isn’t over yet; that he can still love, learn and have fun regardless of his condition.
P.S2. Now I’m looking forward to reading more books by this author.
P.S3. There will be a film based on this book, with Emilia Clarke playing Louisa!Me before you
Viking, 369 pages
Penguin Books, 400 pages