I am probably one of the last people to have read this book, it is after all a bestseller with a lot of better reviews than mine and was published in 2012. However, living abroad, sometimes one is not so up to date with best selling English novels, and so it was that this book was new to me when i picked it up at the last Booksale at the Church in February.
The book is by Jojo Moyes and about a young woman Louisa who basically seems stuck in her comfort zone. Her comfort zone is living at home with Mum and Dad and Grandfather, working in the local cafe and staying in the local town, never traveling away, and sticking with her boyfriend of 7 years who although he seems to be a nice chap, is not interested in moving their relationship to the next level.
Will is the total opposite, coming from a privileged background, having had a super job in the city, traveled widely, cultured and adventurous. That is until he has an accident leaving him paralyzed, frustrated and dependent on help. He has to live with his parents back in their big house in the same small town as Louisa is in, and so it is that Louisa, having lost her job in the cafe, becomes his carer, with a special mission, that she herself is not aware of at the beginning.
The book is about relationships and how we all treat the disabled. Louisa falls into the traps that we all fall into, but also learns a lot about herself. Will helps her expand her comfort zone and see new possibilities. He also helps her to confront her demons being an incident that happened when she was young, that took away her confidence and made her happy to stay in the town. There is the relationship of Will with his parents, and between his parents, and also how Will views his own life now. There are the relationships of Louisa with her parents, sister and boyfriend, and ultimately there is the relationship between Louisa and Will.
It is a lovely story, quite uplifting even if the ending is not what all wanted. The story is about choices and how we deal with what life brings, and how there is always a new choice we can make, every day. Good book for a book club as well.
If you have not read it, you really should. It is not a bestseller for nothing. It made me laugh, and it made me cry, but it did not disturb me in the way that some books do, and for me that is good. I have just learned that there is a film based on the book. That must be good – take some hankies. Plus there is a sequel called After you – i am off to download it now.