"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx

Friday, January 4, 2013

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Book reviews, whether I am writing one of my own or reading one from someone else, have never been about the summation of the plot line or a character lineup. I can get that from the book jacket or New York Times. In a review I want to know how the reader was affected by the story. Was it hilarious, causing you to laugh out loud in the subway? Did it transport you, completely immersing you in another person's life? Did it cause a shift in you, making a change for even the briefest of moments in how you feel or your viewpoint?
This gift of a book pierced my heart so thoroughly I required a recovery time before I could write about it. It took a day and a half for me to fly through the pages and then another day and a half for me to absorb what I read. My high opinion of this book isn't a result of an immersion into the characters or a particularly riveting plot. I loved the characters. I laughed out loud, I certainly cried (copiously), and I was definitely glued to every page of this entire novel but what I found so entrancing was the way it caused me to reflect on my own life and love. I think we have all been told at some point in our lives to make sure the spouse you choose is someone you enjoy talking to and can laugh with because ultimately, that is what you will have of each other. Despite being told that exact thing by some of the wisest people in my life, I haven't ever really considered it beyond head-nodding in amicable agreement. Reading this book instigated serious reflection on that point and then post reflection, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. My house is filled with laughter and lively debate. We talk to each other ceaselessly and enjoy one another's company immensely. But would that be enough? If we lost the ability to wander the streets of San Francisco together, to explore the treasures of D.C. hand in hand, even to work out in the yard side by side, would our witty banter and conversational explorations be enough? Yes (enter overwhelming gratitude). And that is what I LOVE about this book. I love that it prompted in me the realization that of all the things I love about him, I love his brain and spirit the most. That if all else was lost I would still have everything. The books I love the most are those that inspire a shift in me. Jojo Moyes shifted me with Me Before You.

You will find an official plot line description at:

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