Me Before You is an utterly indescribable book. The publisher's description put me off for quite a long time. But, all the glowing Audible reviews persuaded me to take an aural gander. OMG! Poignant, funny, captivating. Jojo Moyes is a writer to follow. She tackled a subject about which no one really wants to read, and made it an infinitely empathetic, oh so English, witty, inspiring tale of courage, reminding us of the amazing, magical gift another bestows on us when they truly listen and make an effort to understand—really grasp—who we are at our very core.
The narraters were very good, especially Susan Lyons who does the main character. You will finish it, and sigh, and want so much to recommend it to others, but alas, Me Before You totally defies portrayal. All you'll be able to say is, "It's remarkable."
In all honesty I expected very little from Silver Girl. A co-worker had been hounding me to read Elin Hilderbrand (her fictional background being Nantucket and me from Connecticut - now in California for the last 3 decades). Reluctant I was, because I rarely like any of the movies or books this co-worker recommends, and that's awkward, eh? So, I caved on this one, and was so pleasantly surprised.
Yes, it made me homesick for the beach house I loved as a kid, but also the characters very much drew me in. They all started out as the vapid, cliché rich—self observed and useful to no one—but remarkably and believably, they all slowly become self aware and have their eyes open to those around them as well.
The novel's take off on the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, was very thought provoking, with Hilderbrand exposing the kind of character capable of cavalierly ruining so many around him. The author also put her spin on that which has perplexed and puzzled me: how a partner could be so oblivious to the sadistic actions of their spouse.
The women were very well drawn - becoming more complex and sympathetic as the plot evolved. The men, well frankly they were a bit like furniture. But that's fine; women rarely write men well, nor do men create much more than Barbie dolls or Raggedy Ann. So why not just focus on the gender you pen best?
Also explored is what happens when your spouse of many years dies. The suffering was very real. And even if the convenient (always handsome and sensitive) boyfriend appeared right at her door, the fantasy was as fun and entertaining as a book can offer.
It's a very good listen that kept me out in the garden after dark and made me actually look forward to my work commute!
PS - The narrators were very good. Lovely voices, both.
As this is Melanie Gideon's "debut novel" we'll forgive the odd medley of styles. Most of them drew you right into the narrative. The Facebook bits, texts and emails were very creatively done. The sections written like a script of a play were so grating I was tempted to fast forward. These probably work better on the page than orated.
Alice was deftly drawn and was delightfully human, as were all the female characters. All resonated so true when it came to the high jinks of relationships, family and marriages. The men were fairly interchangeable, mainly props for the women to maneuver around. But hey, it's summer, and this quirky romantic comedy definitely fills the bill!