The New York Daily News called this book a “heartbreaker in the best sense.” Truly, it should come with a warning. Do not read this while on a beach in the Bahamas after applying sunscreen. Not only will you embarrass yourself by openly weeping around other vacationers, but you will also get sunscreen in your eyes which will no doubt result in more weeping…
Unlike me, you have now been warned. But despite the tears, this is a book that offers characters that will not leave you.
Twenty six year old Louisa Clark loses her job at a café and is hired as an assistant to 35 year old Will Traynor. Once an active and vital man, Will’s life is irreversibly changed when an accident renders him a quadriplegic. He is now bitter, rude and deeply angry. She is quirky, funny and as satisfied with her mundane life as Will is embittered by his.
Moyes does an admirable job of developing these two characters. Most of the novel is narrated by Louisa, but a few errant chapters give us a glimpse of the situation from the viewpoint of peripheral characters. Thus, we can sometimes see what Louisa does not and this makes us root for her even more. Furthermore, Moyes’ description of the daily struggles of quadriplegics lends the reader greater understandings of Will’s situation and the motivation for his choices.
I suppose this would be a good time to confess something. I am a read aheader. It’s true. Sometime in the past five years, I have overcome my catholic school girl upbringing enough to accept the fact that I do not have to finish everything on my plate and I do not have to finish any novel I don’t want to. I held myself back though, and did not look ahead.
I’m glad I didn’t because the ending is surprising and inevitable in the best sense.
Give it a read.
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