Louisa Clark lives an exceedingly ordinary life—one that hasn’t taken her any farther than her tiny village. She takes a badly needed job as caretaker for Will Traynor—a man who lived a big life until a motorcycle accident left him wheelchair bound. He’s bossy, moody, miserable, and Louisa is completely outside of her comfort zone. At first she suffers through each day, but soon starts to care about Will’s happiness as much as her own. She aims to show him that life is still worth living.
It was the trailer for the upcoming movie adaptation that put this book on my radar—don’t watch it though unless you’re okay with some spoilers. There’s also a sequel and the title alone is a huge spoiler, so avoid that as well.
Moyes’ writing is concise but effective and beautiful. The story itself is so powerful it doesn’t need any flowery language or metaphors. A small issue I had was with point of view. Most of the story is told from Louisa’s perspective, but then there are a couple chapters or passages that switch. I get that Moyes was trying to show a different perspective to the situation, but it was a bit jarring and confusing at the time.
Louisa was so refreshing. She’s cute, quirky, caring, whimsical, and just such an enjoyable main character. I mean her outfits in themselves are amazing. She has no education but is put in the position of supporting her family. I love how she grows as a character, gaining confidence, control, and a sense of wanderlust.
Then there’s Will who starts as such an ass. It’s intentional and understandable, because what happened to him sucked but still. Eventually he adjusts to Louisa and they get really close, leading to some great banter. I loved how he pushed her to want more out of life. He wants her to have experiences—like great literature and foreign films. He wants her to travel, to have a job she loves. And he does things solely so she can experience them.
The side characters in this story—including Louisa’s and Will’s families—were kind of irritating and really hard to love.
So this might be a spoiler but I feel like it’s also pretty obvious, there is a romance between Louisa and Will. Moyes doesn’t hit you with it at the beginning of the book, it’s very slow burn and realistic. Totally a romance to remember.
What Moyes does hit you with is some pretty serious and thought provoking issues—economic, familial, and ethical. She does so in a way that presents all sides of the argument before a decision is made. And she isn’t heavy handed in trying to make the reader agree with the decision—heck even the character’s don’t agree with each other’s choices.
I expected water works all the way through this novel, just from the movie trailer and hype I’ve been hearing. And while I did tear up it didn’t happen until almost all the way through. Maybe it’s because I was expecting to cry, or because I kind of was spoiled for/figured out what was going to happen.