Book review: 'Me Before You' a bittersweet romance

By Rosemarie Howard

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, March 9 2013 12:15 p.m. MST

"ME BEFORE YOU," by Jojo Moyes, Pamela Dorman Books, $27.95, 369 pages (f)

Jojo Moyes spins a Pygmalion-like romance with a bittersweet twist in her latest novel, “Me Before You.”

Will Traynor, a successful, handsome and wealthy young businessman, becomes a paraplegic due to a freak pedestrian/motorcycle accident. He once traveled the world but is now confined to a wheelchair at his family home, Granta House, at the foot of Storfold Castle.

Louisa Clark has never traveled beyond the small middle-class English town where she was born. She lives on the opposite side of Storfold Castle. When she loses her job at the neighborhood Buttered Bun café, her job search leads her to a position as Will’s caregiver.

Their initially stiff and uncomfortable relationship evolves into an unlikely but mutually beneficial and tender romance.

Moyes creates well-defined, emotionally complex characters. She takes us into the physical and emotional reality of a paraplegic’s world through these characters and their families. Through them she weaves a well-told story that also explores the controversial issue of assisted suicide from multiple perspectives.

It's a thought-provoking story that leaves you wondering who the "me" and the "you" in the title really refer to.

Characters frequently use profane language. Alcohol consumption, as well as sex outside of marriage, are accepted as the norm.

Moyes, a journalist and full-time novelist, lives on a farm in Essex, England, with her husband, journalist Charles Arthur, and their three children.

Rosemarie Howard lives in a 100-year-old house on Main Street, Springville, Utah. She enjoys creating multimedia projects. Her website is at dramaticdimensions.com.

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