Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Will’s life is perfect. He’s handsome, athletic, wealthy, and in a happy relationship with a beautiful woman. All that comes to an end the day he is involved in a serious accident. Now, paralyzed from the neck down and abandoned by his lover and friends, he decides that life is not worth living.
Upon informing his parents of his decision to travel to a Dignitas in Switzerland, where suicide is assisted for seriously ill or disabled people, his father retreats emotionally and his mother becomes desperate to save him. She believes if he had a friend to engage with, he would come out of his depression.
Enter Louisa. Although she is from Will’s same small English village where he has returned to live, the two are nevertheless worlds apart. While Will has traveled the globe, Louisa has never left her village, lives at home, and works in a bakery. When the bakery closes forcing her out of work, the only position she can find is as a companion to Will.
As a slow but steady friendship evolves, Louisa, too, becomes desperate to save Will from his decision to go to Dignitas. Will has promised a 60-day reprieve before his final journey, and Louisa believes if she can show him a life worth living, he’ll see that being quadriplegic does not mean nothing’s left.
This deeply emotional novel explores the meaning of life, love, and new beginning in ways that will rock the reader’s understanding of what matters. This is a perfect book club choice.
Pamela Dorman Books/Penguin; ISBN 978-0-14312-454-2; $16.