Jojo Moyes on assisted suicide in “Me before you”


Will is a rich boy living his life to the fullest and enjoying each and every moment of it. Until the road accident which leaves him quadriplegic…

After the first unsuccessful trial of killing himself mother of Will makes a deal that he will give the whole family half a year hoping that during this time he will change his mind. This is why she hired Ms Clark, a person with no experience just because of her “shiny” personality.

Lou comes from a poor family, just lost her job and since her salary was pretty important part of her family’s income she quickly has to find a new one. After trying out in a fast food restaurant and declining several possibilities of employment she decides to take a job as a carer of Will.

Open minded, well educated and experienced Will against crazy Lou who lived her whole life in the same small town with the lack of self confidence and with everybody telling her that she is not really smart and worth a lot. Two completely different personalities, two completely different worlds meet by coincidence, growing into each other company, growing into each other worlds…

The book is easy read until the moment when Lou finds out that she was hired on a fixed period of time because after the initial six months her patient will commit assisted suicide. This young girl starts fight with time and stubborn Will to reinstate his will of living. She plans fun outings, lets him experience all over again pleasure of being out of the house and enjoying every single minute of life.

Lou and Will at first cannot stand each other. He is unhappy, constantly grumpy very ill person who despises company of anyone who shows him any compassion. Ms Clark enters his world with almost naive happiness and cheerfulness. Slowly he gets more and more used to her being there. He starts noticing that she is pretty smart girl just a little bit shadowed by her family and troubles around their well being. He teaches her how to listen to the classical music, watch foreign movies and start experiencing her life with enjoying it to the fullest, just the way he used to before the accident.

“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible”

When I first started reading it I thought it will be easy and pleasant holiday read. Beautiful, impossible love story filled with laughter and tiers. Story which from the beginning sounded like a horrible mismatch which must end with a happily ever after. From almost the first meeting of Lou and Will reader gets an impression that this is where the story leads to.

In this book Jojo Moyes rises difficult subject of euthanasia. When is actually the moment when a person should be able to end their life. It discusses problems of disabled people who are constantly relying on the help of others but also about their families and their loved ones. Reader starts asking all questions how far should you go in convincing a person to want to live again and who should be able to make a decision. Should it be a government, family or a person who is in a vegetable state him/herself? And what do you think?

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