“It is important not to turn the dead into saints. Nobody can walk in the shadow of a saint.” -Jojo Moyes, After You
After you by Jojo Moyes is the sequel to ‘Me before you’. It is about what happens to Louisa Clark after Will’s death.
Moving on from something, from someone is one of the difficult things in life. And if we are moving on from someone who has passed on to a different plane that is one of the most hard-hitting situations of life. For some time, you keep thinking about them and do things they wanted us to do but then at some point, everything comes whirling down.
That’s how Lou handled Will’s death. She went for a trip around Europe, she stayed and worked in some places, and then she moved to some other location. After traveling and moving around Lou moves to London. She worked in a cafe in the airport in London. But soon things weren’t clear anymore as it was when Will was around. It was like asking Will to just and come tell her what’s that not going right around, what needs to do? Lost in those thoughts, one evening Lou walks on the parapet of the rooftop of her apartment. She lost control and flew down from the roof. However, she survives the fall but with major injuries. This forces her to go back home and be with her parents.
This accident makes her contemplates that she needs to heal physically and mentally. She joins a support group in London, called Moving on. There she meets with Sam, a paramedic by profession and the one who also saved her after the fall. Sam is the person who understands her situation and her feeling of losing Will. That feeling of a vacuum created by Will’s death.
Lou is still trying to come out of this situation and to make it more complex enters a person from Will’s past life, unknown even to Will’s parents.
Will’s parents got separated after his death and are living in the shadows of the pain of Will’s death. When Lou meets them, the pain of Will’s death relapses. But their familiarity also made their pain a little less. But this new individual will bring a new set of emotion, it will bring joy and some pain.
Life brings a new dimension in all of their life. But for Lou, she finds a new meaning, not a happy one but she could find a reason to move on from Will’s death. A distraction that was needed.
The complicated situation lets her swim from the point of being stuck to the point where she was free from the sadness and pain of Will’s death.
But as they say, all’s well that ends well. Lou falls in love again, accepted that there will be risks in life. She didn’t forget Will but is finally moving on with Will’s thought by her side. Will Traynor will always be missed, but he will be from now on, a source of her encouragement than being the reason for being stuck in life.
Now free, independent and she also has the love of her life. With this new found happiness, she boards the plane to go to New York, to start a fresh new chapter of her life.
The book is well written just like its first book. But the relationship dynamics that was captured in Me before you was brilliant, somehow the second book could not capture. And every time the character from Will’s life is presented it is little slow. But overall, the book is a good read.
The 3rd book of Jojo Moyes, ‘Still me’ is released in Jan 2018. I am yet to read that book. I hope that will be a good read too.