After You by Jojo Moyes

Learning To Live Again

After You by Jojo Moyes is a contemporary novel about learning to live through loss. It follows on from Me Before You as the reader sees how Lou learns to live again.

Loss consumes and dominates. “Losing him was like having a hole shot straight through me, a painful, constant remainder, an absence I could never fill.” Lou refers to herself as a ‘doughnut’ and she wants to be a ‘bun’ to be whole again. When we lose someone we have to wade through the hurt we feel. “I’ve been waiting to feel normal again.” Normal as we know it has gone. We must learn how to adapt and live a ‘new normal.’

The reader witnesses a support group for the bereaved through Lou’s eyes. We see there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to grieve. We just have to do what we can to cope.

There is the fear of being vulnerable again and opening up our hearts to love. Loss hurts so much, is it really worth the pain again?

Changes are afoot as some characters decide to give feminism a try, much to the consternation of the male characters affected.

The characters are well drawn and realistic being a mixture of emotions. There are some laugh out loud moments juxtaposed with very raw grief.

There are some very big hearts who help and protect the lost, the hurting and the vulnerable.

I am loving this series and eager to read the third and final book.

JULIA WILSON

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