Tuesday, 8 November 2016

After You by Jojo Moyes

This is the long-awaited sequel to Me Before You (2012), which, if you read it, took your breath away. Maybe even more than that. It's now a movie, which I plan to watch in the not-too-distant future.

Although the title is a bit of a spoiler for the first book, the author waited a good long time to write a sequel. We meet Louisa Clark, a little reminiscent of the original - down and out in London, no life, no direction and not very happy, unsurprisingly.

It's almost impossible to write this review without any spoilers for either book, so let me focus on the characters.

Lou is relatable. She comes over to your house, slouching, probably. You serve her tea (or wine), and she starts to talk, reluctantly. As you listen, you realise that her problems make yours more bearable. As she speaks, she knows the way forward, and as it comes to both of you, the revelation that life is very worth the living, even when it's shitty.

Of course, when you get invited back, you also meet her mother - a late bloomer - finding herself in her fifties, Lou's grumpy "I should be the heroine" sister, their long-suffering and insufferable father, and grandpa, who lightens things up with his version of crazy. The in-laws also entertain, as do the support group - all battling through the wild ride of life in varying states of messed-up.

Me Before You is a hard act to follow. Jojo Moyes did so with aplomb. A little slow at times, this book, served with a cup of tea (or wine) will lift your spirits and restore your hope, if not in the "happy ever after", then in the "it'll get a little better".

4 stars


By the same author...

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