Thoughts on ‘Me Before You’

Me before you

Jojo Moyes is an award winning novelist, but until this book I had not read any of her work. ‘Me Before You’ was turned into a film, which was released June 2016, now I have read the book, it’s one I would be keen to watch!

I liked the characters in this book, and how it bravely took on a pretty sensitive subject of disability and the impact on family. In this case it was not disability from birth, but through a horrific accident. I like how it was a massive contrast between Will’s active and thrill seeking ‘previous life’ and his reliance and isolation of his ‘current life’. It would be easy to make this a character you pity and to become the sole focus of the book, but actually I felt Jojo handled it beautifully – he was just a character with baggage, like many in the book. His initial abrupt and rude behaviour towards Louisa makes him difficult to warm to at first, but as she breaks through his walls, we do to and this strong, intelligent character shines through.

The relationship between Will and Louisa builds up and you end up totally routing for them. He helps her overcome her past and issues which held her back. You think that he’s the character who has obstacles to overcome, but in fact it is Lou and his family. Unknown to us at first, Will has made a decision to end his life. The book is looking at how the people around him handle his accident, his life limiting disability and ultimately his decision to end his life. Will himself seems to have come to terms with all of this and helps guide others. It’s an amazing take on the situation and really has you questioning yourself. I found myself wondering what I would do in his situation, but also of all the characters around him. I found putting myself in his mother’s position particularly challenging, it’s incredibly hard to imagine.

Jojo has managed to create an incredibly thought provoking book, it’s not hard to see why it was turned into a film. I would definitely be interested in reading more of her work!

What did you think of the book? Could you relate to the characters? Would you have made the same decision as Will? Would you recommend any more of her books?

Me before you

About the book – Me Before You

Me before you

Second month of book club, and I asked for some recommendations. I even looked into book club lists and this book popped up. It’s a New York Times number 1 bestseller, and was recommended by my librarian friend. I’m already excited to read it! From what I hear from others it is one that is hard to put down, might be tricky with a 10 month old, but still keen to try!!

I haven’t read any of Jojo Moyes work yet, but feel I may have been missing out!  The book was first published in 2012 and has been made into a film. I would be interested to watch the film, but definitely want to read the book first! Sometimes films don’t quite match the books, and I don’t want to have an image of it all in my head before I read it! Do you prefer watching the films first or reading the books? The synopsis of the book is as follows:

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 colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

I purchased my paperback copy from Amazon, it is currently in their 3 for £10 deal. You can also pick it up for the Kindle there if that is your preferred reading method!

I will write my thoughts for this book in a post on Monday 26th September, am looking forward to hearing your thoughts and sharing the book with you!

Happy reading 🙂 x

Me before you

 

Thoughts on ‘Instructions for a Heatwave’

Maggie O'Farrell

Maggie O’Farrell is definitely one of my favourite authors, so when I saw this book, I thought it was well worth a read!! And boy was I right! I loved it! Her style of writing is just so readable, and it never feels like a chore – in fact, I’m always gutted when her books end!

I loved the family dynamic in this book, it’s not all singing and dancing happy families, this is a family who all have secrets and things they hide from each other. It’s a character who barely appears in the book who has the biggest secret though and one that is uncovered as the book unfolds. I love her ability to drop in little nuggets of information on the characters which just build and build until you have the whole picture. Jumping backwards and forwards in time, but never in a confusing way.

The middle child, but oldest sister, Monica is a very controlled character who does not reveal much and tries to be in control all the time. I loved the description given when it was explained she did not want children:

‘Monica was seized with a horrified fascination at the devastation childbearing wreaked. The slack pleating of stomach flesh, the slivered scars that found their way over dimpled legs, the deflated sacs of breasts.’

It’s just a brilliant description of what happens, and far from being bothered by this, it had me laughing out loud – yes, yes, how true! Monica is an interesting character who seems to take life incredibly seriously, there seems to be a weight on her for the majority of the book. It’s almost like she has got stuck, and despite her younger sister Aoife being a wild child and the black sheep, I feel it was Monica who was most lost in the story. Aoife also had her own secrets to hide, but I loved her nature and lust for life. The difficulties between the different family members is raw, but something that is easy to relate to – families can fall out and it is often a mystery how or why!

‘Aoife sitting with a face like that. And Monica over by the sideboard, doing that tossing thing with her head and fiddling with a basket of laundry. The pair of them not looking at each other. As if they were strangers.’

The mysteries which are revealed throughout the book give the story momentum and keep you interested. I could not put it down! The observer says the book is ‘addictive…told with real humanity, warmth and infectious love’ and I just cannot put it any better than that. It is absolutely true! Well worth a read.

Did you join in with the book club this month? What were your thoughts on this book? Did you like/dislike the characters? Let me know your thoughts!

Maggie O'Farrell

About the Book – Instructions For a Heatwave

Maggie O'Farrell

Maggie O'Farrell

Welcome to the first my first Book Club. I have long wanted to be part of a book club, so thought maybe I should just start my own! Every month I will share which book we are going to read, if it goes well I will publish a list of 12 books that I will be reading in 2017 and hope that you will continue to join me! I will post my thoughts on the book in the last week of the month and invite you to comment with what your thoughts were. I will endeavour to publish the book for the next month the same week, so that there is time to purchase or borrow a copy.

I thought I would start off with one of my favourite authors, Maggie O’Farrell. I have read and really enjoyed ‘After You’d Gone’, ‘The Distance Between Us’, ‘The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox’ and ‘The Hand That First Held Mine’. I would recommend all of them. She is a fantastic author and I always feel fully engaged with her stories.

This book was published in 2013 and was shortlisted for the Costa Book awards the same year. The synopsis for the book is as follows:

It’s July 1976. In London, it hasn’t rained for months, gardens are filled with aphids, water comes from a standpipe, and Robert Riordan tells his wife Gretta that he’s going round the corner to buy a newspaper. He doesn’t come back. The search for Robert brings Gretta’s children – two estranged sisters and a brother on the brink of divorce – back home, each with different ideas as to where their father might have gone. None of them suspects that their mother might have an explanation that even now she cannot share.

I am really excited to get stuck into this book! I purchased my copy from my local charity shop, but they are available new or secondhand from Amazon. You can also pick it up for the Kindle there if that is your preferred reading method!

I will write my thoughts for this book in a post on Sunday 28th August, am looking forward to hearing your thoughts and sharing the book with you!

Happy reading 🙂 x