The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes is a positively wonderful novel about the power of love.
The tale is set in London in 2006 and in France in 1916. Both time periods are linked by a painting.
Love is a powerful force. Both female protagonists have lost the love of their life. In 1916 Sophie’s husband is fighting the Germans, while in 2006 Liv’s husband is dead. The women have their memories to keep them warm. Sophie hopes her husband will return again. Liv needs to learn to live once more. “Am I allowed to be this happy again?” It is natural to feel guilt when we begin to smile again.
Occupied France is a dangerous place to be. The Germans are cruel – but not all. Germans are people too with feelings and families. Far too often we make judgements based on the uniform but a heart beats underneath and there is compassion.
Dean Martin And Me
Still Me by Jojo Moyes is a wonderful
contemporary novel about discovering who you are meant to be. It is the third
book in the Me Before You series and could be read as a stand-alone. I would
recommend reading the books in order to chart the character progression.
I loved meeting up with Lou Clarke again, with her
sunny, unique personality and her huge heart for others. All her life she
reaches out to others, spreading goodness and happiness wherever she goes.
Will, in book one, encouraged her to live big. In this novel we follow Louisa
to New York and watch with baited breath as she discovers the Louisa she was
meant to be.
Life is for living. We have one life, we need
to reach out and grab it. We must not be hemmed in by others low expectations
Louisa has the gift of bringing out the best in
people. Her cheery smile and sunny disposition even brings out the best in a
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.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is the most beautiful
contemporary novel about love and life. It made me laugh out loud and it made
me cry. It is a book that will stay with me forever.
Love when it strikes, strikes hard. It
consumes. It goes down deep and it is beautiful. With love comes choices,
choices as to how we act, feel and live. We have to decide whether to hang on
tight or whether we love enough to let go. However we love we need to do it
The novel is about two lives that seem poles
apart – privilege versus poverty, health versus ill health, existing versus
truly living. In Me Before You the
reader sees a character bud, blossom and bloom as they learn how to really live
life. A closed existence becomes a much more open one. We have one life and we
need to live it.