The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes caught me by surprise. It has now become my favourite Jojo Moyes book apart from Me Before You. I’ve been reading a lot of Jojo Moyes’ backlist lately, ever since my husband gifted me a whole heap of her books. I wasn’t in a huge rush to read this one. Then I read her collection of short stories — Paris For One — and there was a short story about a young married couple living in Paris, just before the outbreak of World War One. I really enjoyed their story and was thrilled to discover it was continued in this book. Continue reading
Paris for One is a short story collection by Jojo Moyes. I’m a big fan of Jojo Moyes but I don’t usually like reading short stories. I personally prefer novel length books to short stories as just when I start getting invested in the characters and plot BAM… the story ends.
BUT I really enjoyed Paris for One. Firstly, because I love the way Jojo Moyes writes and have read so many of her books over the years. Secondly, because it was a great collection of stories. And lastly, because dipping in and out of these short stories made for great reading at a time when I was finding it hard to concentrate on my reading. Continue reading
My husband bought Sheltering Rain by Jojo Moyes for me from a second-hand bookstore online. It’s her very first novel and I had never heard of it before. I love Jojo Moyes books so I was excited to get stuck into this one.
Sheltering Rain tells the story of three women from the same family. There’s Joy who grew up in Hong Kong and meets her husband Edward, a naval officer, in the 1950s. We later meet her as an elderly woman who lives in Ireland with her husband and looks after horses. There’s Joy’s daughter, Kate, who lives in London with her daughter and is going through relationship problems. And there’s Kate’s daughter Sabine, who is fifteen-years-old and has a whole heap of attitude. She is sent for a short visit to see the grandparents she barely knows as her mother doesn’t have much of a relationship with Joy. Continue reading
I’ve been a big fan of author Jojo Moyes ever since stumbling across Me Before You years ago. This was before the movie and before a lot of the huge hype. Me Before You first introduces the loveable Louisa Clark, wearer of quirky vintage clothes and bumblebee yellow and black striped stockings. In this first book she becomes a carer to Will Traynor, a complicated man not coping very well with life as a quadriplegic and they both change each other’s lives. If you haven’t read this first book, definitely give it a go. I don’t want to give anything away if you haven’t read it.
I loved Me Before You, even though it smashed my heart to pieces, and was quite happy for it to be a stand-alone book. But then Jojo Moyes released a sequel called After You. Although I devoured this book it didn’t have quite the same feel as book one. Louisa was far from the happy, positive young woman and with a major character missing in this book, it was a bit of an adjustment. But I liked it well enough in the end.
Which brings me to the newly released third book in the series, Still Me. I rushed out to get this because Continue reading
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is a very misleading book. The title suggests a light, fluffy romance, which is backed up by a pink cover that gives nothing away. Nor does the book’s blurb. Lou Clark is a twenty-something woman who just lost her job at The Buttered Bun tea shop in a sleepy English town she has lived in all her life. She is about to meet Will Traynor – a man whose motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. Cue a mismatched pair ala Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy and wait for the sparks to fly. Well, that’s what the book’s packaging seemed to indicate.
But what I got instead was very different. Yes, there are still the elements of two very different people meeting and not getting on. There is growing understanding over time. But what you don’t know until you are reading this book is that the character Will Traynor is a quadriplegic. And though you hope for some miracle to occur and for him to get up and walk, this book is far more realistic than that.
Lou Clark gets a job as his carer although she has no qualifications. All she can do for him is make cups of tea and give his flat a clean, whilst trying to stay out of the way of his bad temper. Before becoming a quadriplegic, Will was a lawyer and an adrenalin junkie with a zest for jumping out of planes and climbing mountains. His accident made him lose everything, including his model girlfriend. He sees nothing good about his life.
Lou finds out that she got the job because Will has scared away all his other carers. And his mother wants him to be watched at all times because he has previously attempted suicide. Then Lou learns by accident that Will has gotten his parents to agree that in six months time they will take him to Switzerland where there is assisted suicide. Though sworn to secrecy by Will’s mother, Lou makes it her personal mission to try to make Will change his mind.
So as you can see, this is not the formula for a typical chick lit book and the publishers of this book may have done it a disservice trying to market it that way. I read this book in a day. I just couldn’t put it down. In the course of reading it, I learnt so much about what people who are quadriplegic go through. They have countless medical problems. Not to mention the mental anguish of going from able-bodied to life in a wheelchair. Even the problems they have going places when in a wheelchair and how they are treated by family, friends and wider society.
But this story is not all about Lou trying to change Will. It’s also about Will trying to encourage a young woman who has no goals, has never gone outside her town, and is with a fitness mad boyfriend who doesn’t get her, to branch out in life – and live.
This book surprised me greatly. I got so much more than I thought I was going to get. It was not quite the light read I was after, but definitely worth reading. Now to look up some of the other books by Jojo Moyes …