I wasn't sure I wanted to read After You, the follow-up novel to Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. As you know, I loved Me Before You, but it also ripped out my heart and stomped on it and made me feel all kinds of powerful and sometimes uncomfortable emotions. I wasn't sure I was ready to read about poor, sweet Louise going through any more trauma. However, I wasn't about to pass up an opportunity to read a novel by one of my favorite authors. Please excuse my review, it will definitely be more emotionally fueled since I seem to be so much more emotionally invested in this fictional character's life.
After You picks up on Louise's life eighteen months after the death of Will. She's living in an apartment in London and working in a bar. She's estranged from her family, lonely and unhappy. It was the exact situation I was worried she'd be in. Because how does one recover from the turmoil and pain and loss of Will's death? A series of events will force Louise to reconcile with her family, introduce her to a handsome paramedic and brings someone from Will's life back into hers.
Moyes tells Louise's process of mourning and grief in her typical and wonderful style that explores these painful emotions in her characters. She takes them to the very brink of destruction before allowing them to crawl out of the despair. The reader aches for Louise and feels her pain. It's completely believable. Fortunately human nature is generally pretty resilient and so is Louise. Almost simultaneously, Moyes can make her reader laugh at the hilarity of life--the misunderstandings and the ridiculous and the good. It's one thing for an author to be able to make her readers cry and it's another thing altogether to be able to make them laugh. This is where Moyes continues to excel as she delivers beloved novels to her readers.
In After You, Louise learns to love again. More importantly, she gains the strength to trust herself and be brave. It's all the things Will wanted for her but she couldn't attain until she was ready to let go and be herself.
In the end, it was nice to check up on Louise. Perhaps it was even cathartic and healthy for the readers who fell in love with her in Me Before You, to have a chance to meet her again and see that she can be strong and live her life with flair and passion and her own quirky, fun personality.
After You by Jojo Moyes is published by Pamela Dorman Books and released on September 29, 2015.
I received a complimentary copy of After You and the publishers are offering a second copy as a give-away.
To enter, please leave a comment on this post. The contest will be open to entries until Friday, October 2, 2015 at 11:59 pm MST. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced on Saturday, October 3, 2015. Open to US residents only.
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Check out Jojo Moyes's Facebook page to see Sophie Kinsella interview Jojo about After You.
And once you've read After You, you will want to discuss the book with your friends. You'll love this After You Online Book Club Kit filled with recipes and fun ways to enhance your book club experience.