Happy Sunday (or whatever day you’re reading this on), bibliophiles!
I finished listening to After You by Jojo Moyes awhile back, but needed to let it simmer in my mind for a bit before writing. For anyone who may not know, After You is the sequel to Me Before You, which I reviewed here. There may be slight spoilers if you haven’t yet read Me Before You.
First, a quick summary, courtesy of Amazon:
“You’re going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too. Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live well. Just live. Love, Will.”
How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?
Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.
Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . . .
For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.
This novel was surprising, which in and of itself was…surprising. Without giving anything away, the “extraordinary accident” that falls upon Lou had me holding my breath! I was like, “No freakin’ way is this happening!” So not only did the novel immediately establish an emotional death grip on my attention, but it also courted my heart. Ultimately, this was a story about grief and growth, something all readers can relate to.
Many people have mentioned that they’re afraid to read this for fear of ruining the magic of Me Before You, but I think it adds more depth and warmth to the overall story. I empathized with Lou’s suffering, self-doubt, and feelings of regret. While Me Before You felt like a magical and amazing story, this felt like a slap of reality that was somehow equally heart-warming.
I loved it and I would recommend it, but to each their own!!
Until next time, bibliophiles….