by Jojo Moyes
After You is the long-awaited sequel to Me Before You, a wonderfully touching and romantic book that left many of its readers wanting more. So, that is what Jojo has done – come up with the “what happens next” that so many fans wanted.
But as if often said, be careful what you wish for. Reading other reviews it would seem that for many fans, what they wished for and what they got were not the same thing. Personally, I would have been happy leaving Louisa’s story as it was at the end of the first book. But having said that, unlike some others, I actually enjoyed reading about Louisa’s further exploits.
Anyone reading this review without having read Me Before You should stop right now and go out and get a copy.
For me, After You is necessarily very different from Me Before You. For one thing, Louisa needed to move on. She needed to rebuild her life in some way, to find resolution.
The book begins a year after Will Traynor’s death with Louisa working at a London Airport bar. She has bought a flat with the money left her by Will, but has not followed his advice to continue her studies. Whilst she tries to put the events if the past behind her, events conspire to bring it all crashing back down around her.
Jojo Moyes is an imaginative storyteller who has created an inspiring collection of characters. The story is both intense and witty. Louisa’s relationship with her family and the interplay between the two sisters and their parents provides much of the books humour. Whilst I wouldn’t say that Jojo Moyes is a writer of comic fiction, she does provide a layer of wit and humour that prevent even the most serious of plots becoming too intense.
I think that to compare the two part of this story doesn’t do either full justice. Each has a separate direction and I enjoyed them both for what they were.