Simply reading the jacket copy of Moyes's second novel might give readers the impression that Me Before You
is a traditional "opposites attract" kind of romance novel, the kind of story that proves that love conquers all, even in the most extreme circumstances. Although on one level that may be true, Me Before You
is, in fact, so much more. It's a story about personal redemption and self-worth, about finding courage, about knowing what to hold onto and what to let go. It's also a meditation on one of the most controversial and divisive issues of our times. And, lest you think that the novel is merely an inspirational fable or a "problem novel," rest assured that it's also a beautifully and smartly written literary work, full of lovely phrases, complicated characters, and compelling situations.
When we first meet Louisa Clark, known as "Lou," she seems to have...
Beyond the Book
At the center of Me Before You
is an intensely emotional and ethical debate about assisted suicide; and in particular, of the assisted-death organization, Dignitas, which plays a primary role in the story. Dignitas, founded near Zurich, Switzerland in 1998, has as its motto "to live with dignity to die with dignity." The organization's assisted suicide programs are very carefully regulated and require that prospective patients undergo a series of psychological and medical assessments. Patients must also certify that they are making the decision to die of their own free will; Swiss law mandates that assisted suicide be done without coercion or self-interest on the part of the person or organization assisting with the process. Suicide is accomplished humanely through...