Three years after her novel Me Before You left its five-million-plus readers inconsolably weeping over its closing pages, Jojo Moyes released this sequel in response to requests on social media for insights into what happened to Lou Clarke.
In the writing of the screenplay for the film based on the first book, Moyes said to Vanity Fair, “I’m not really interested in girls who buy things; I’m interested in girls who do things.”
Yet here is Lou, 18 months on from the death of Will, the man she was caring for and fell in love with in the first book, living in a flat she’s bought with the money he bequeathed her and doing absolutely nothing
Her bubbly, life-loving attitude has vanished, replaced with an existence filled by a dead-end job at a bad Irish pub at City Airport, a grief therapy group, and drinking wine on the roof of her building, from where she tumbles to meet her new fate.
If Lou initially hopes her fall has left her paralysed, Moyes swiftly rejects her heroine’s desire for comfort in suffering as Will did, instead giving Lou a new love interest in the form of paramedic Sam and the possibility of a fresh start in New York.
One of Britain’s most popular novelists, Jojo Moyes worked variously as a minicab controller and brochure writer for Club 18-30 before winning a bursary to attend a course in journalism. After a decade as a successful journalist, she turned to writing fiction with her first book Sheltering Rain. She won the hearts of legions of readers with her poignant novel Me Before You, introducing the popular character Lou Clark whose story continues in the follow-up novels After You and Still Me.
Penguin Books Ltd