Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Still Me by JoJo Moyes

I don’t have the words to describe how much I enjoyed reading Still Me by JoJo Moyes.  Still Me is the third in the trilogy after Me Before You and After You and is a novel of the further adventures of Louisa Clark.   The overall trilogy has dealt with real grief and the aftermath of grief.  How do you move on after a personal loss and tragedy? 

Louisa Clark has gotten the opportunity of a lifetime to go to work in New York City as the assistant for a wealthy couple.  She is embracing the wisdom of her late beloved Will Trainer who told her that she should not only embrace who she is and learn to live away from her family to explore new parts of the world and learn what makes herself happy.  Louisa had suffered a trauma early in her life which had made her wary of leaving the familiarity of her home town.  The one problem with leaving is not only leaving her family, but her boyfriend, Ambulance Sam.  Will Louisa be able to find herself and will their romance work out?

I loved that Louisa learned about herself that she would mold herself to make a partner happy, but that she needed to find herself first and find a partner that appreciated her for her unique self.  “Who was Louisa Clark, anyway?  I was a daughter, a sister, a kind of surrogate mother for a time.  I was a woman who cared for others but who seemed to have little idea, even now, how to care for herself.”

One of my favorite parts of the novel was when Louisa’s sister Treena found her one true love, Eddie.   Eddie is a woman and it took a bit for Louisa’s Dad to get used to the idea.  The entire meet the family made me laugh out loud as I could imagine it happening like that with my family.

Still Me is a comedy, a drama, a novel of working through grief, and a novel about learning about the importance of family and community.  The characters were wonderful in this novel.  I especially loved Lily playing the romantic foil for not only her grandparents, but for Louisa.  Moyes writes wonderful characters and I’ve enjoyed going through the journey with them for three novels.

Favorite Quotes: 
“Reader, I did the stupid thing.  I looked her up on Facebook.”

“Here is the thing about jealousy.  It’s not a good look.  And the rational part of you knows that.”

“You gotta have places where people can meet and talk and exchange ideas and it not just be about money, you know?  Books are what teach you about life.  Books teach you empathy.”

“I thought about my new home where, in a silent building of perhaps thirty people, nobody spoke to anyone, except to complain about some small infringement of their own peace, where nobody apparently either liked anyone or could be bothered to get to know them enough to find out.”

“He was shot through with the American dream – you worked hard, you succeeded, and then you gave back.”

“Women always have to make the difficult choices.  But there is a great consolation in simply doing something you love.”

“And then I thought about his later years when I’d treated him almost as a part of the furniture.  I hadn’t written to him.  I hadn’t called him.  I had just assumed he would be there as long as I wanted him to be.  Had he minded?  Had he wanted to speak to me?”

Overall, Still Me was a fitting conclusion to Louisa Clark’s journey through love and grief.  I love how she really discovered who she is and what she wants out of life.

Book Source:  The Kewaunee Public Library

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