Thursday, February 25, 2016

After You by Jojo Moyes

After You by Jojo Moyes
  • ISBN-10: 0525426590 - Hardcover $368 pages $26.95
  • Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books; First edition (September 29, 2015), 368 pages.
  • Review copy courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley.

The blurb:
“You’re going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too. Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live well. Just live. Love, Will.”
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.

Though I'd read and heard a lot about Jojo Moyes' writing and that she  consistently delivers a satisfying read.  I'd expected to enjoy After You and had kept it for when I was looking for a light, escapist read. So when I'd started it last night, I hadn't expected to stay up all night reading about Louisa Clark and her journey away from her grief.

After You is largely set in London and follows the story of Louisa Clark who in the earlier novel Me Before You had fallen in love with Will Traynor (former Master of the Universe who was quadriplegic).  We find Louisa coping badly with Will's suicide, she has been trying to keep her head above water, but hasn't been able to connect with her family or friends.  A night of drinking leads to an near deadly accident and Louisa Clark's family surrounds her when she wakes up in the hospital.  

As Louisa slowly wades back into her world, a teenage girl shows up on her doorstep, claiming to be the daughter of her deceased Will Traynor.  The young girl is moody, rude, obnoxious, and badly needs a friend.  Against her better judgement, Louisa opens up her life to this young girl.  Their difficult interactions force Louisa out of her old ways.

Louisa also begins to fall in love again.  I haven't read Me Before You, so I can't compare the love stories, but I did enjoy reading about Louisa and her new love.

About the Author:
Jojo Moyes is the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before YouOne Plus OneThe Girl You Left BehindThe Last Letter from Your LoverSilver BayThe Ship of Brides and Honeymoon in Paris.  She lives with her husband and three children on a farm in Essex, England.