Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.
What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.
I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book so when it was picked up as my book club’s January Book of the Month, I was pretty excited to jump into the story. I’ve never read anything by Jojo Moyes so I didn’t know what to expect going into the book but I will say that Moyes made me cry a lot throughout the telling of this story.
When Lou Clark loses her job at a cafe, she lands a job as a caretaker of a quadriplegic named Will Traynor. Will Traynor isn’t the old man that she was expecting but she needs the job so she lets herself get talked into keeping the job. Will isn’t an easy guy to get to know but the farther you read into the book, the more you grow to love him. Mean ass and all.
In the beginning of the book, I didn’t quite know what to think of Lou’s family. They were a bunch of jerks to her and it frustrated me that she just took whatever verbal dig they threw in her direction but I thought Moyes did a good job of addressing everything that happens in the book, in a way that explained without bogging the story down. This book wasn’t an easy read by any means but it was a compelling one.
Both Lou and Will are complex characters going through different things and seeing them help each other in a way that neither was expecting made the reading experience that much more interesting.
Lou was a great heroine. Her character unravels slowly throughout the entire book and by the end, you are such a huge Lou fan that your heart really breaks for her. I loved seeing Lou change and really come into her own. I thought Moyes did a great job of capturing Lou’s spirit throughout the whole book. She really shows us that you never really stop growing and learning. No matter what age you are, changes still happen and learning never stops. I really liked that Will was a part of her growth. I loved that a lot.
Will was a hard person to like. He was so mean to Lou when she first came onto the scene but even then, I knew that I was going to love him. I knew that we were going to get to know him, fall in love with him and I knew that he was going to break my heart.
I was right on all of those counts because I did come to love the hell out of him and he did break my heart. Oh man, I’m starting to tear up just thinking about him and the love I know he came to have for Lou. The love that Lou came to have for him. Their relationship was my very favorite part of the book. Watching them grow so close to one another, seeing feelings develop made the book so freaking good.
Lou’s mission that she gave herself when she finds out about Will’s plans broke my heart. Every page that I turned, I hoped and prayed that she would be successful in her mission. I hoped that she would be able to give Will what he needed to change his mind.
I was wrapped up in the story from the very beginning. The story starts with a bang and never really slowed. The story unfolded in a series of little things that led to bigger things and I enjoyed the whole thing as a whole. It’s not your typical romantic story and I was a bit bummed about that but other than that, this was an enjoyable read. I will definitely be reading more from this author and I can’t WAIT for the movie.
The secondary characters were great as well. Lou’s family came around for me. In the beginning, I didn’t really care for them and hated the way that they treated Lou. I was also a bit mad at Lou for letting them get away with saying whatever they wanted to her and treating her like the step child in the family but as the story goes, her family wised up and got better so I didn’t end up hating them in the end. I actually came to really love her family…just like I came to love Will’s family and Nathan. All of the characters brought a little something to the story and I appreciated their addition.
Overall, this book was good. It was a great introduction into Jojo Moyes work and I look forward to discussing everything with my book club. My heart is still broken from the ending but I enjoyed the book as a whole still.
Grade: 4 out of 5