After You by JoJo Moyes
My book club chose to read this after finishing the author’s very moving and successful Me Before You. We simply needed to know if Lou Clark ever got a happy ending. The answer is well, sort of.
The book picks up a year or so after Will’s death. Publicity surrounding his controversial decision impacts everyone connected–even Lou’s family. Lou moves to Paris for a while, but is still struggling to find a way forward. She returns to England and, with money Will has left her, buys a little flat in London and works unhappily in an airport bar. The flat is just a place to sleep. She hasn’t even properly moved in until an unexpected and troubled young girl claiming ties to Will shows up. Out of loyalty to Will, she feels obligated to become involved. And that makes all the difference.
Well, that and the fact that when she falls off her roof she has a “meet cute” with a hunky paramedic.
Moyes has said that this sequel was hard to write because so many people loved Lou and had so many expectations for how her life should turn out. She understood that some people wouldn’t like it, no matter what she wrote and had to write the story that she felt was true to the character.
Granted, Me Before You is a hard act to follow. While After You is not quite as compelling, it is satisfying. Moyes does a beautiful job of setting the reader in the midst of family and personal struggles as Lou makes uneven progress through her grief. There is humor and sadness and tension and love and letting go. I recommend it if, like me, you need to know the rest of the story.