It’s not often that a fiction writer falls in love with a novel. In fact, the more you write, the pickier you get. I debated whether or not to write a review about Jojo Moyes’ latest novel, Me Before You, because frankly, it’s easier to analyze something that is poorly written or breaks every publishing commandment, than praise a book so much you start sounding like a broken record. At running the risk of boring you, dear reader, I decided to talk about this book because as much as we learn from other writers’ mistakes (as well as our own), we can learn from those who excel in their craft.
With humor but also moments of intense poignancy, Moyes captures the reader from page one. Her strengths as a novelist are many: not only has she built a plot that screams tension from the very beginning, but she also manages to create relatable and believable characters. Her style is easy and quick, but not flat. The dialogue is sharp and realistic. The first person narration helps us relate to Lou and the prologue serves the purpose of intriguing the reader. Perhaps the only questionable decision was to include four more point-of-view characters into the narrative, which in my opinion offered little else to the development of the story. Sure, Moyes gave us insight into the other characters’ thoughts, but to me, it came at the expense of slowing down the novel’s pace.
Moyes was also successful at making the reader aware of the limitations of life as a quadriplegic (particularly in Europe) where the streets are narrow and there are not a lot of handicap-friendly facilities. As witnesses of Will’s struggles, we realize the harsh realities and daily pain quadriplegics face. This is one of those “book club” novels that will send you directly to a Google search about the intricacies of this condition and certain organizations mentioned in the novel. Moreover, the story will stay with you long after you’ve finished it.
I highly recommend it.
|The author, Jojo Moyes.|
Have you read this novel? If so, what did you think of it?