I am the biggest admirer of JoJo Moyes!
I love her novels. Her writing. Her flare. Her style. Everything.
JoJo Moyes has the ability to delve her readers into story-worlds consisting of characters, events and experiences that enrich and enlighten them. Her writing is a magical gift that allows her to transform a non-reader into a reader, a non-believer (of love and life) into a believer, a pessimist into a realist or even an optimist.
However, I have a confession to make. I have only become a deeply rooted devotee of JoJo Moyes’ novels fairly recently. Five months to be exact. Five months ago on a beautiful yet cloudy day, I was browsing through the ‘Your Recommendations’ list on Amazon and I came across a novel entitled Me Before You.
What a wondrous, impactful day that was.
I’d just skimmed through the 10-line summary on my laptop screen and had the absolute urge to purchase this book. 2 days later; there was a subtle wind passing through the tiny porthole in the Circle Line train, shuffling the brisk yellow pages of the second-hand copy I held in my palms, ready to dwell into a new realm, one that would change the meaning of love – with all its imperfections – for me, forever.
At the time I purchased this novel, I wasn’t aware that the movie was due to release this year. I was ignorant of all the acclaim given to this novel just as I was ignorant of JoJo Moyes’ existence a few days prior to that.
But I dived into this story like I’ve never done before and I came out enlightened, brighter, and more confident. It was a novel that changed my perspective of life altogether; one that showed me just how important it is to live each moment to the brim and never limit yourself or your capabilities to pave the life for you that you’ve always envisioned.
And who managed to teach me all of these things? A 35-year-old quadriplegic named Will.
Me Before You meshes together a tale of two people; Louisa (Lou), who, at 26, is working in a cafe and still living with her parents and Will; an extremely successful ex-entrepreneur who’d always been in charge of the path his life took, until one horrid morning a motorbike accident resulted in him being a quadriplegic, and consequently, snatching away all his desire to live. Lou has never really stepped out of her drowsy little town and Will, until 2 years ago when his life changed forever and he had to return, left as soon as he got the chance.
After losing a comfortable and satisfying job as a waitress in a cafe, Lou – due to circumstances – decides to take up the role of being Will’s carer. A relationship which initiates with bitterness, spite and annoyance (mostly on Will’s part) transforms into mutual companionship, understanding and the longing to make one another’s life a little better. Both are polar opposites; Will is adventurous, intelligent and charismatic whereas Lou is whimsical, anxious and talkative. Ironically, Will is wheelchair bound but Lou isn’t.
Moyes laces a beautifully conceptualised and well-written story that embraces the reader and doesn’t let them go until the very end. It is not a quintessential romance novel, it is far from it. This novel is a celebration of life with all of its scars and blemishes. It’s a novel that shows the possibility of freedom from all of the hindrances, monotony and constraints that exist in our lives, and shows us what really matters – living wholly in every moment that you have.
We’re allied with Lou’s journey from the onset of the novel. We feel empathetic towards her when she fears, we’re saddened when she cries and we absolutely love her vibrant and colourful outfits even if their origin is extremely painful. And, in the end, we grieve because of the harshness of her reality, in the awareness that the brutality of certain events can leave their can leave their raw marks on us forever.
It is through Moyes that I rekindled my love for analysing literature, and my urge to continue writing. I was intrigued, even enthralled by her ability to weave words into a sentence that gave it new meaning. I was in awe at the artistic essence of her writing.
For those of you who want to read art in literature form, I would highly recommend purchasing Me Before You and burrowing into the magnificent realm of Lou and Will created by JoJo Moyes.
This one is an eye-bawler, so keep a spare pack of tissues to save your sleeves from getting moistened with your tears!