This was the library book club’s latest book pick. I enjoyed The Girl You Left Behind, so I was looking forward to this book.
Length: 369 pages
Setting: a small town in England, 2009
Summary: Louisa Clark suddenly finds herself looking for a job with hardly any qualifications. She finds work as a caretaker for a quadriplegic names Will Traynor. Will was a golden boy – on the fast track to power, women, and travel until he was hit by a motorcycle. He’s given his family six months, and then they’ve promised to take him to Dignitas, an assisted suicide center in Switzerland. Lou gradually becomes friends with Will. When she learns his plans, she decides to entice him back to life with outings and technology to improve his quality of life. Lou’s also having guy troubles with her long-term boyfriend, Patrick, and her family depends on her income to keep the family afloat. Ultimately, Lou is unable to change Will’s mind, even though she changes his attitude.
Final thoughts: I was immediately sucked into this book. I loved Louisa as a character, with her working class worries and values. She starts out with no real aspirations (and we later learn why that is). Will opens up her horizons and her mind. Lou doesn’t know what to expect when she meets Will, but she’s a plucky, eccentric take-n0-nonsense character who eventually sees Will as a person instead of a condition. When we discover the six-month deadline for her employment is because Will is planning to kill himself, it’s shocking. But, he makes a strong case for it being one of the few active choices left to him. Honestly, I kept hoping up to the end that Will would change his mind, that Lou would make a strong enough case for life, but no. Even with the wonderful last few days, Will was determined, and Moyes made me respect his decision as being completely logical. This makes a great book club book since there are so many elements to discuss in both Will and Louisa’s lives.
Title comes from: I never did figure it out. Sadly, I didn’t make it to book club, or I would have asked others about it.
Reading challenges fulfilled: book #47 for the year
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