After You is the much anticipated, highly necessary, second installment in the Me Before You series, featuring Louisa (Lou), a character readers, myself included, absolutely love. I say “second installment” rather than “final installment,” because I’m hoping that Jojo writes many more stories featuring Louisa. For those of you wanting to read this book, I would highly suggest reading Me Before You first. It is absolutely wonderful, and you won’t be able to put it down until you’ve devoured it like a piece of chocolate lava cake.
I enjoyed After You just as much, if not more than Me Before You. Louisa has been traveling around Paris, hoping to experience new things to help counterbalance the grief of losing Will. She then settles down in a London flat, but it doesn’t seem much like a home, lacking any personal items or furniture. She takes a job as a bar maid in the airport, where she works thankless hours on not so fun tasks with no satisfaction or hope of finding something else. Perhaps the worst is the ridiculous outfit and wig she has to wear at work (you’ll have to read it for the specifics!).
After an unfortunate accident, Louisa finds herself in the hospital and then in need of help while she recuperates for 9 weeks. She moves back in with her loud, and mostly dysfunctional family until she can no longer handle the monotonous conversations, bickering between her Dad and Mum, and repeated family meals. Back to London she goes for more unhappy days of work and lonely nights in her flat. Then, an unexpected visitor turns up at her doorstep, someone with a connection to her past with Will, and her life becomes much less boring, and much more chaotic in a flash. She joins a grief counseling group against her initial wishes, and becomes rather connected to the motley crew of fellow grieving men and women. Leaving the group one day, she has a pleasant run in with the handsome EMT, Sam, who helped her after the accident months prior. She hadn’t realized at the time how kind and caring he was, and oh so handsome! Lou finds herself not so lonely any longer. When the story ends, we see Lou embarking on a new journey with a fresh outlook and so many people supporting her unselfishly. I only wish I could have a few more chapters to read!
The scenes from this book caused me to both laugh out loud and also wipe tears from my face. As a matter of fact, I cried through the last two chapters! Some of the things that come out of Lou’s father’s mouth are just plain hilarious. Also, the grief group has its share of characters who will say anything that comes to mind. Laughter is the best medicine, as they say; and Lou (as well as the reader) is subjected to plenty of humor. Jojo Moyes has a knack for developing characters in such a way that readers do not want to turn the last page, because they will physically miss the characters. I find myself in a depressive sort of state today after finishing the book. I miss Lou, Sam, Lily, Mr. and Mrs. Clark, the Traynors, and even sourpuss Richard from the bar. What a story this was! I absolutely loved it, and I will be most thrilled if Jojo Moyes decides to keep Lou’s story alive for many more installments.
Now, what in the world am I going to read next? Stay tuned, readers…