In Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, Lou Clark is perfectly happy with her predictable life working at a tea shop and dating her boyfriend Patrick while living at home. This comfortable but unexciting life is interrupted when the owner of the tea shop moves away and closes the shop. After trying out many jobs and failing, she is taken on as a day nurse for a man, Will Traynor, who became a quadriplegic in a freak accident. Lou has never been the type to care for the sick, but the job is temporary and the money is good.
In the beginning, things are very rocky between Lou and Will. Lou is unsure of herself in her role as caregiver, and Will is bitter and acerbic in his conversations with her. As time goes on, the two get to know each other better and start to become friends. While Lou teaches Will how to enjoy life without the ability to be physically adventurous, Will pushes Lou to open up her horizons and live a more exciting life. Lou discovers that Will and his family have hidden a major secret from her, and she subsequently becomes invested in Will’s well-being, sometimes to the detriment of her personal life.
This moving and character-driven novel will stay with the reader long after reading the last page. The evaluation of end-of-life issues is thought provoking and handled in a sensitive and thoughtful way. Search the VBPL catalog for Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. You might also enjoy The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison.