How do you get through the death of a loved one? For Louisa Clark, the situation is unique. In Me Before You, Lou took over the role of caregiver for Will Traynor, and she quickly realized no matter how hard she could try, she couldn’t make him want to continue to live as a quadriplegic after a living a life full of adventure he once adored so much. Though she couldn’t change his mind, Louisa’s time with Will changed her life.
After accepting this as a fact, Louisa (spoiler alert!) goes with Will and his family as he makes the decision to end his life through medically assisted suicide. After his death, she tries to lead a life he’d be proud of. She heads off to Paris and does some traveling around Europe before settling in an apartment in London. But soon enough she finds herself going through the motions of her life, wishing Will were there to enjoy it.
A freak accident reunites Lou with her family and introduces us to new characters, a new unexpected part of Will’s past. Between Ambulance Sam and the unpredictable and slightly unstable Lily, Louisa finds herself embarking on new and unexpected adventures again. Through this journey she finds a purpose for her life again and through the end, she finds a piece of herself she thought she had lost.
Though the plot thickens in unexpected ways, Louisa hasn’t lost her humor. From the very first page you can see the same Lou is in there, helping out the strangers who come into the airport pub she now works at, nervous and sweaty about flying. The overall tone of the book has the same easy-going and often humorous narrative that Me Before You does, and keeps you turning the pages quickly. This book is a perfect book to entertain yourself while laying out on the beach in the sun or on a long flight to your next destination.
Does After You compare to it’s predecessor? Of course the first novel is better. You don’t get to live the complicated relationship of Will and Lou anymore, nor do you feel each page is a life-and-death battle that evokes a heavy emotional response as a reader. But if you’re like me and are dying to know what happens to the characters after you close the last page of a good book, After You tells the tale of picking up the pieces and finding new meaning to life after a devastating loss.
What did you think of the sequel?