Review: After You (#2, Me Before You) by JoJo Moyes - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Review: After You (#2, Me Before You) by JoJo Moyes

A touching, realistic story of dealing with loss,
enlivened by Moyes’ signature humorous style.

3halfstars

Synopsis

How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . . .

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.

After You is quintessential Jojo Moyes—a novel that will make you laugh, cry, and rejoice at being back in the world she creates. Here she does what few novelists can do—revisits beloved characters and takes them to places neither they nor we ever expected.

My Review

 Do not read if you’ve not read Me Before You 

The highly anticipated After You, picks up 18 months after Louisa Clark loses the man she loved, Will Traynor. Coming out of its heartrending predecessor and coming into this subsequent novel, I expected our quirky, vivacious Lou to have trouble leaving Will behind… and that’s exactly what we see. Lou fiercely misses Will, even while she attempts to start anew in London, working in an airport bar. She seems lost, despondent.

“No journey out of grief was straightforward. There would be good days and bad days.”

One night, Lou suffers a major accident and is saved by a caring paramedic, Sam Fielding. The accident is another major setback, especially with her family doubting how much of what happened was actually accidental. Then, a figure from Will’s life surprises her in a way that changes everything and her life is once again thrust into a swirl of drama.

Lou struggles to process her feelings, her sense of responsibility, her morphing feelings for Sam, who in a twist of fate, she sees again through a support group.

Moyes shines in the humorous, yet often poignant dynamics of Lou’s family, as well as with the very changed and hesitant dynamics of the Traynor family. We again see some societal issues weave through, grounding the narrative even more and making way for the softer side of the story to break through as Lou finds the right reasons, the right anchor, to help her find joy once again.

After You doesn’t pack the same level of emotion as Me Before You, nor did it evoke the same type of connection, but it’s a quieter, realistic story of how one struggles with grief, while finding the way forward.  Sam and Lou’s relationship didn’t feel quite as believable and epic as I hoped (even though Sam is an amazing, ever-patient man) and the story’s ending left me wanting more, especially after all that Lou had been through.

All in all, Lou’s story after Will is certainly touching, but not quite as powerful as its unforgettable predecessor.

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2 Comments:


  1. Sarina B. said:

    Oh, I MUST read this! Her writing is always exquisite. Is Sam the medical tech guy? Why don’t I remember who Sam was?

    Reply

    1. VBB Post author said:

      Hi Sarina! Sam is a new character, a paramedic that helps her after an accident. He is GREAT!!!!

      Reply

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