After You – Book Review

0143108867“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.

My thoughts on After You – I applaud Jojo Moyes. Very rarely am I ever a fan of sequels. I approach them with trepidation, wondering how these new chapters are going to effect my outlook on the whole story and I really liked this book.

I remember when Me Before You was recommended to me and with skepticism I read it. I am normally a mystery, thriller or historical fiction reader. Never do I pick up a romance type novel and think “oh ya this is for me” but I was pleasantly surprised.

Once again with After You I didn’t have any great expectations. I may not have even read it but because of my commute to work  I actually listened to After You on CD in my car and I found myself laughing out loud and then shaking my head. Moyes writes all her characters voices with such simple honesty and fortitude you can’t help but love them. You want to meet them. You relate to their stories and feelings.

I have read a few of the really negative reviews on this book and the big disappointment was that there is no Louisa and Will. Of course not. How could there be? I wasn’t expecting Will to show up. We know he is gone and that was part of my curiosity. How is she – the writer – going to do this?? You can’t go into this book expecting anything to be the same. Some of the characters yes but the story has moved on.

I will admit I wasn’t thrilled with Lily because she was exasperating to read and Louisa put up with way too much from her. The Lily story seemed a little too far fetched with the whole I need to meet my family thing coming from a 16-year-old girl who obviously had family whether she liked them or not. Her problem was not not having Will’s family it was about her being a spoiled unmonitored child.

So some of it did drag on a bit but over all it’s an excellent read.

Why I recommend the book – It’s a nice tenderhearted read for anyone who is curious about what happens next.

 

About the Author – Jojo Moyes was born in 1969 and grew up in London. After a varied career including stints as a minicab controller, typer of braille statements for blind people for NatWest, and brochure writer for Club 18-30, she did a degree at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, London University. In 1992, she won a bursary financed by The Independent newspaper to attend the postgraduate newspaper journalism course at City University.

Jojo worked as a journalist for ten years, including a year at South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, and nine at The Independent where she worked variously as News Reporter, Assistant News Editor and Arts and Media Correspondent.

Jojo has been a full time novelist since 2002, when her first book, Sheltering Rain was published. Since then she has written a further eleven novels, all of which have been widely critically acclaimed.

Jojo has won the Romantic Novelist’s Award twice, and Me Before You has been nominated for Book of the Year at the UK Galaxy Book Awards. Me Before You has since gone on to sell over 3 million copies worldwide.

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