The sequal to Me before You, by Jojo Moyes
This book continues on from the stunning Me Before You, showing how Louisa, her family and the Traynors are coping with life after Will’s death. Which in truth is not very well at all. The Traynors have divorced, Mrs Traynor moving far away from the Castle. Mr Traynor moving another woman in that he has been cheating with for some time. The death was eaten up by the media, leaving all those involved harassed constantly by the press, trolls, haters and their own feelings of guilt.
Lou of course has been affected worst of all. Her family, except for her sister have disowned her for being at Will’s side during the medically assisted suicide. They are often harassed by her choices even in their sleepy little town. Gossips wagging their tongues constantly. Louisa has done her best to follow Will’s instructions to live. Travelled a little, worked in France for a while, moving around. Travelling with him, exploring life had seemed magical. However alone it just seems a cold, cruel, grey world. She emails Nathan now and then, he works in New York for a family. He seems to be the only person to truly understand what she is going through.
After a while she settles back in London, taking a job working in an airport bar. A job that holds her back, depresses her, yet she keeps it not thinking she is worth better anymore. Drinking whenever she is not working, hating Will for leaving her alone. Wishing he was with her, asking his advice in her head before she does anything.
One particularly lousy work shift, Lou ends up extremely drunk on the roof of her flat. Deciding that walking along the edge of the roof while cursing Will’s name, is a great life choice. Until she falls, ending up in the hospital so badly damaged that she is terrified that she will end up paralysed as well. Months off work, her parents taking her back home to help her recover. Home doesn’t feel the same anymore, she just feels a stranger there. Her parents are convinced she attempted suicide. The village folk whispering about her part in Will’s death everywhere she turns.
He father eventually allows her to return to London, if she agrees to take a grief counselling course. Back there it becomes clear that Will is taking care of all those he loves even from beyond the grave. As Lou discovers new people, new connections arriving in her life. Starting to show her that there could be a life for her after love. The good type that he wanted her to have. New challenges grow Louisa up even further. Stretching her, making her capable of almost anything. Her future may not turn out how she expects, however it seems to be working out exactly how she needs it to. Bringing closure to herself and his family.
After You is a very touching storyline, bringing greater depth to the characters. Showing the human side of loss in a way that everyone can relate to. I truly hope that this also becomes a film very soon.
Sarah Beth James