Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.
What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.
This is one of those books I have been told to read time and time again, but I’ve put it off as books have a habit of not living up to the hype of others. In fact, I only picked it up after all this time because I saw the trailer for the movie. Now, why the hell did I wait so damn long?
On the surface, this book is inoffensive chick lit, the kind of book you read when you have a free afternoon while it rains outside, and you don’t particularly want to have to concentrate on anything too taxing. Yet, once you start reading, it becomes more than this, much more.
Louisa is happily stuck in a rut. She enjoys her job at a small cafe in her small hometown. The only blip in her life is Patrick, her boyfriend who seems to prefer going to exercise than spend time with her. (I must admit, I thought their relationship was heading in a different direction than it did). She’s perfectly happy going to work, then going home and basically doing nothing with her life. All that changes when the cafe closes and she’s forced to find other work.
Then she gets a job working for the Traynors. A six month contract as a companion for their quadriplegic son, Will. Sadly, he’s rude, abrasive, sarcastic, and refuses to interact with her. At first… It’s obvious he has never coped with the loss of the use of his body. As someone who lived a full and active life, he is struggling to deal with the changes he’s has had to overcome. And let’s be honest, who could blame him?
Without giving too much away, Lou becomes aware of a situation that the family are trying to keep quiet and decides she can help. Slowly, she and Will do more together, other than just sitting inside watching movies. She wants him to appreciate being alive, regardless of how limited his movements are. It looks like it’s beginning to work, particularly when they go on holiday together.
Now, I was warned that I would cry buckets during the reading of this book, and I admit I didn’t. I kind of guessed how it would end, and to me it wasn’t sad – it was inevitable. In my eyes, I felt the ending was the only possible way for this story to finish and if another ending had happened, it wouldn’t have felt real to me.
Moyes deals with the subject matter brilliantly. It’s not gratuitous or done for shock value. It’s sensitive, it’s sweet, and most of all, it’s real. I will certainly be reading the second book, and I will most certainly watch the film (Which I will probably cry at)