My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The concept behind Me Before You is simple, but brilliant. Louisa Clark is hired to take care of Will Traynor, a quadriplegic man, but she's not hired to take care of his medical needs or to help him with his bodily functions. She's hired because she's “chatty” and Will's mother, Camilla Traynor, is desperate to find someone who might touch aspects of her son's life that still have value. Although Louisa needs to know the routine of Will's meds and eventually has to learn how to give him bed baths and change his catheter, their story is primarily psychological and emotional rather than physical. It's the story of two people getting to know each other.
It helps that Louisa is someone with her own set of issues, someone who is resigned to living a life defined by the needs of her family rather than pursuing her own dreams. As the title indicates, the story is more about Louisa than it is about Will, but both characters change and grow throughout the book.
I listened to the audio and have to say that all the readers were good, but I was most impressed by Susan Lyons, the voice of Louisa. The book is primarily from her point of view, so she did most of the reading and had the character's gabby compensation for a lack of self confidence down pat.
I intend to see the movie soon. I only know Emilia Clarke through Game of Thrones, but think she will be perfect as Louisa. Although the roles are very different, a sense of strength through an aura of vulnerability is important to both.
Steve Lindahl – author of Hopatcong Vision Quest, White Horse Regressions, and Motherless Soul
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