I got interested in this book because of the film. I wanted to know what the book is about. And as previous experiences would attest, the book is almost always better than the movie, though there are very very few exceptions. I wanted to read the book before I would see the film. And so the search begins...
I stumbled on an ebook copy and started reading.
The book is about Louisa Clark and Will Traynor. Louisa works for a cafe, unfortunately, it closed because the owner has to go back to Australia because his Dad is not well. Louisa has to look for a new job. She got a accepted as a carer for a quadriplegic, Will Traynor. This was after trying to work in a factory. At first, Will and Lou did not get along. Will was always rude and moody. After a few weeks, Lou could not take anymore Will's attitude so she confronted him and Will was surprised because it was only Lou who got the courage to tell him off. From there, their relationship improved and Lou was able to make Will talk and do some things. Some as monumental as shaving his face and cutting his hair. One time, Lou overheard Mrs. Camilla Traynor and his daughter, Georgina, talking about Will's wish to die and going to Dignitas. Lou realized that she is the only hope for Will to change his mind. Lou then embarks on a series of plans to get Will to go out and travel so he would find the zest and reason to live again.
My One Cent
When I started reading the book, it did not right away reveal what type of love story it was. When I came to the part when Louisa started working for the Traynors, I expected as most story goes, that they will fall in love with each other and Lou will leave his douche boyfriend who only cares about marathons. And true enough, they did. But it was not just about that. There were a lot twists and I had to calm myself most of the time. I did not expect that Will would still want to die in spite of the fact that he loves Louisa and wants her around. I do understand Will's decision but I feel sorry for Louisa and the rest of the Traynors. At first, I thought Will is too selfish but then if I were in his shoes, unable to care for myself and not anymore able to do the things I love, I think I would wish I died in that accident too. I like that the book was so realistic. It also showed how a life-changing event could alter the dynamics of a family, even for one that is so wealthy. Catastrophe falls on anyone, whether you own castles or not. I also like that Louisa tried everything she can to change Will's mind and I thought she was successful. I was cheering for her the whole time.
The book is very well written and I like that it surprised me a lot. It was so engaging and gripping. It had held me tight and I never wanted to stop reading until the end but my eyes betrayed me. I had to sleep or else I will end up with a headache for staying up all night. Most of the time, it showed me the opposite of what I expected to happen next. I did not like that Will really died. I thought when Louisa was called to come to Switzerland, there might still be a slim chance that Will might change his mind at the last minute, but it never happened. Yes, you will probably not like how this ends. I thought love conquered all. This is probably the only thing that I thought the book lacked. But on second thought, the acceptance of Will's decision and supporting him could as well be taken as love, as letting go of someone is always an act of love. Letting go of Will was a herculean feat for everyone. Will saw it as the only way he can find peace and solace for himself. Some may think that this book encourages or believes in taking one's life but I don't look at it that way. I think it just explored the possibility that there might be an option for those whose lives cannot anymore in anyway be put back to normal, just like a quadriplegic's. I still do not believe in taking one's own life just because life is too hard or you got your heart broken or for some other million reasons. There is hope. There is always hope, it may sometimes just be a flicker or a spark but life should go on. Yes, life is hard, it is a fact. Nobody has it easy. Each person's circumstance is just different. Each has its own worries. For me, I am thankful that I am terrified just even thinking of it in my lowest of lows. Because the moment I will have the might to even think about it, that would be the end - the end of my reason. That means I have lost my sanity and have abandoned hope and prayer. It would be when even the love for books and the love for travel has forsaken me. These two hobbies keep me sane when all else in the world just makes me want to sleep and not wake up. The book at least ended where Louisa was able to say goodbye to Will and Will died knowing that he was loved. Closure at least.
I give the book four stars for the surprising journey. I hate stories that are so obvious and typical. This story was totally different and it touched me in various ways. I can relate to a lot of the characters in the story. I can relate to how it is being jobless and the only available ones are the things you don't want to do. I can also see myself in Will being frustrated at a situation you can't change, being paralyzed and left to the mercy of other people. I have cried while reading this book as it tackled a multitude of human reactions to a tragedy. It spoke of the diverse coping mechanisms of people when faced with a very difficult and trying situation. And these same reactions are what would most likely happen in real life. I also love that Louisa realized what she has been missing in her secluded, mundane and very provincial life. And that she needs to explore the world to discover its wonders and what it has in store for her. This work has made me a fan of Jojo Moyes. I am looking forward to her other works.
Now, I am ready to watch the movie. I am curious if they will follow it to the letter or make a different ending.
Next book is After You. Click here to know more.