From IMDB Me Before You Book to Movie Cast list
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes disguises itself as a love story but has an underlying message of the implications involved in living a life with depression and disability. The novel is about Will Traynor, who unfortunately was involved in an accident that left him paralyzed. He then develops a friendship with his caretaker, Louisa Clark. The novel also shares a surprising amount of similarities in tone and topic to the French film, Les Intouchables, released in 2011.
The novel Me Before You begins with a young, successful Will Traynor. He has everything he wants, a beautiful girlfriend, a great job and an adventurous lifestyle. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes and he is involved in an accident that leaves him physically challenged. As a quadriplegic, Will finds himself angry and spiteful, leaving him moody and cold towards others. He has lost the will to live and wishes to die with dignity on his accord. His girlfriend leaves him and marries his colleague, Rupert. Louisa Taylor had recently lost her job at a local café and ended up receiving word of this job through an Employment Centre. Will’s mother, Camilla, hires Louisa after an interview in an attempt to help to cheer him up. Louisa begins working with Will, and shortly after realizes how distant and false everyone in the house is. She also finds out that Will’s father, Steven, is having an extramarital affair. With Louisa’s presence, however, Will begins to open up and share his thoughts and feelings. Louisa also eventually notices that Will has been attempting to kill himself, visible through the scars on his wrist. She questions him regarding this, and he informs her that he had tried to commit suicide back when his mother condoned him being euthanized through an organization called Dignitas. As Louisa begins spending more and more time with Will, her boyfriend Patrick grows jealous. They end up separating due to this jealousy and Patrick’s involvement with his physical training.
Will grows closer with Louisa, even allowing her to cut his hair and beard. Will’s sister, Katrina, thinks that Louisa should make it her goal to encourage Will to want to live. With this in mind, Louisa informs Will’s family that she thinks that he should go on a vacation.
Meanwhile, for Louisa, her financial situation worsens as her father loses his job. Her family has been relying on Louisa for financial support, and the strain of which is now becoming apparent to Will. Will began trying to encourage Louisa to pursue her dreams, and to start doing something different that interests her.
As their friendship grows, not only do we see Will opening up to Louisa, but Louisa opening up to Will as well. She shares stories of her childhood, specifically one that haunts her regarding a time she was sexually assaulted as a child. As their relationship grows, so do Louisa’s feelings towards Will. She sees him for who he truly is as opposed to what is he physically. Louisa ends up being able to organize a vacation for Will to Mauritius. The night before they return from Mauritius, Louisa confesses her love to Will. Will finds himself torn between this loving relationship and his initial desire to end his life.
The novel is presented as a romance novel, however, in a traditional sense, it is not that at all. It is a story of love, but more so the love that develops between a person in pain and someone in an awkward situation. It is a story of encouragement and friendship, and about pursuing your goals and dreams while the opportunities and ability to do so are available. It is a truly touching novel, and at times will leave you ecstatic, and other times, heartbroken.
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