Thursday, December 12, 2013
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes
Narrated by Susan Lyons, Anna Bentink, Steven Crossley, Alex Tregear, Andrew Wincott, Owen Lindsay
Penguin Audio, 2012
14 hours 40 minutes
source: review copy from publisher
Penguin Books, 2013
400 pages, paperback
One sentence summary:
A high-powered, action-oriented executive turned quadriplegic and his new care-giver, an ordinary 26 year old woman with a dull, conventional life, end up impacting each other's existence in ways neither could have imagined.
Expectations can be a tricky thing…and I do expect to like whatever I read. However, when everyone seems to love a book, expectations are raised to an often unrealistic level and, more times than not, I end up disappointed. Happily, Me Before You lived up to my heightened expectations.
Most of the story is told from Louisa's point of view and it grabbed me from the beginning. Moyes does a wonderful job revealing Louisa (Lou) and Will's characters, but the unfolding of their relationship is what makes the book extraordinary. She also tackles the subject of quadriplegia with grace, dignity, and realism.
A word of caution - tears will flow as you near the end, so plan your reading (or listening) accordingly.
Jojo Moyes is a current favorite among book bloggers and, although I'm a little late to the party, I finally understand what all the fuss is about. Her other books are now on my wish list.
I started listening to Me Before You on CD in the car, but knew there would be no time spent driving around alone over the Thanksgiving weekend. I needed to keep reading and, since no library copies were available, purchased a paperback at Barnes & Noble. That made my mom happy… she'll be reading it next!
About the audio production:
I love multi-narrator productions and this novel lends itself perfectly to that format. The bulk of the story, however, is told by Louisa Clarke and narrated by Susan Lyons. This was my first experience listening to Lyons and she captured Louisa's voice and personality perfectly. The other narrators read just a chapter or two, but the various voices certainly added to the overall effect.