Published December 31st 2012 by Pamela Dorman Books/ Viking
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.
When Louisa is hired on for “suicide watch” as Will’s caregiver, she makes it her mission to bring that will to live back to him and teach him to embrace a new life with his reality. She forces him from outside the confines of his home which he hasn’t left in two years, except for doctors’ visits and medical exams. Louisa brings a small semblance of happiness back into Will’s life for the first time since his accident. However, despite the changes Louisa manages to make, his sense of hope and what he wants from life is still in tatters.
Together, they develop a heartfelt relationship that eventually turns into the truest form of love, but sometimes love isn’t enough when you’ve defined your life a certain way and fate has made living to your fullest impossible.
This story really broke me. I was emotional from the very beginning, and as the story continued to unfold, my heart felt like it was carefully coming undone. It was extremely sad to see how a quadriplegic not only has to battle the physical decline of their body as movement is impaired, but also how our world today makes it so difficult for them to access the simplest of places. I never truly knew what a burden they suffer and how much they rely on others for the simple actions I take for granted.
The ending of the story was unbelievable to me. I think I sat there for over an hour stunned and broken. I was not expecting what happened at the end and I applaud Jojo Moyes for her bold storytelling. She refused to sacrifice realism in her fictional world and her execution of the ending was incredible. This story will stay on my mind for a long time and I look forward to picking up other books by this author. She impressed me with her skill of flawless storytelling. Amazed and emotionally moved!