"The Help" was absolutely lovely, and opened my eyes to an era and a world of which I knew little. Imagine: black women caring for and becoming surrog"The Help" was absolutely lovely, and opened my eyes to an era and a world of which I knew little. Imagine: black women caring for and becoming surrogate mothers to white women's children! And in return, they were treated little better than the house dirt they cleaned up. How ungrateful those white families were, as shown by their superior attitudes and their third-world wages, which were barely enough to eek out a living! Yet, in the midst of all that, some whites did recognize the sacrifices those wonderful women, "The Help," gave--and appreciated it. Kudos to Kathryn Stockett for a wonderful book, and for such rich characters!...more
NOTE: This article, originally posted on my blog, contains spoilers.
I love watching movie trailers. So when I saw the one for Me Before You several moNOTE: This article, originally posted on my blog, contains spoilers.
I love watching movie trailers. So when I saw the one for Me Before You several months ago, the first thing I did after leaving the theatre was Google the title, where I discovered the newly-released flick was based on the 2012 fictional novel by British journalist and author Jojo Moyes.
I don’t always have the luxury of first reading a book before seeing the related movie, but I did with Me Before You. How could I not? Moyes’s book has thousands of reviews at Amazon, with an average of 4.6 stars, which means it was either a good story or well written. Or both. Turns out, it’s both. I love Moyes’s writing style and the way she weaves a complex, compassionate tale about the wealthy, albeit depressed Will Traynor, a quadriplegic, and his upbeat, cheery caretaker, Louisa Clark.
Like many women, I also love a good love story.
While taking Megabus to New York City recently, I had nothing but time so I opened the Kindle app on my iPhone and began reading. The bus pulled out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, about 11 p.m. I couldn’t stop turning the electronic pages until my eyes grew so heavy they would barely stay open. It was after 1 a.m.
On my way home from NYC, I began reading again. By the time I finished, I was glad I had thought to pack some tissues in my backpack, because, as my father would say, Me Before You is a real tearjerker.
Last weekend, some friends and I went to see the movie. As we left the theatre, I couldn’t help noticing an older couple behind us. He was wiping his eyes. One of my friends saw it, too, and once outside we wondered if he had lost someone like Will. Or if the couple had a loved one who committed suicide.
That’s because, at its heart, ...Me Before You is a love story, but it’s one which also deals with the controversial issue of assisted suicide, or euthanasia. Will Traynor doesn’t want to live as he is, trapped in a chair while in almost constant pain. He wants to be the “me” he was before the accident that turned him into a quadriplegic. Before “you,” or Louisa Clark enters his world.
Several excellent articles have been written about the ethical and moral dilemma euthanasia raises, so I’m not going there. I will say that, having faced and overcome suicidal tendencies in the past, I can understand why Will made the decision he did. But as someone who has never been trapped in a wheelchair, I am not in a position to judge anyone who makes the choice he did.
Louisa, or Lou, as her family calls her, is such a bubbly, joyful character that we root for her, in her efforts to change Will’s mind. She is one of those people you’d like as a friend, a woman whose smile never fades. (Well, not for long.) Who is sure to pick you up, when you’re feeling down. Or goad you into finding a reason to laugh over your miserable lot in life. She is literally an adult Pippi Longstocking, with the stockings to prove it. I can’t wait to see how Lou fares in her life after Will, since her life “before (him)” was dull and boring.
If you’re a reader, get the book. You won’t be sorry. (Then take your significant other to see the flick on date night.) In the movie, the story arc of Me Before You is unwavering, and actors Emilia Clarke and Sam Claftin give a spot-on performance. However, it omits two other supporting storylines: gang-rape and the legal questions that arise from assisted suicide. Moyes tackles both topics deftly, in a poignant way that left this reader longing for September, when her sequel arrives....more
I started this book while on a Caribbean cruise, which seemed the perfect setting for such a novel. I love Doerr's use of language and writing style!I started this book while on a Caribbean cruise, which seemed the perfect setting for such a novel. I love Doerr's use of language and writing style! The story he weaves about Germany's invasion of France during WWII, the blind girl Marie-Laure, and the Nazi boy-soldier Werner is truly one of the best I've ever read. ...more
The second time around, L'Engle's classic is still as impressive as it was when I read it umpteen years ago, as a child. I think many of us can identiThe second time around, L'Engle's classic is still as impressive as it was when I read it umpteen years ago, as a child. I think many of us can identify with Meg, and know I certainly did. I hope to begin #2 next and can't wait to see how her story continues....more