Review: After You

After You

by JoJo Moyes

Copyright 2015.

 

In this sequel to Me Before You, Louisa struggles to go on after watching Will, a man she loved, a quadriplegic, take his own life. After traveling through Europe for a while, she ends up in London, living in a small apartment and working at an airport bar. An accidental fall from her apartment building’s roof catapults her into a series of interesting circumstances, further complicated by the arrival of Will’s teen-aged daughter, the result of one of his numerous affairs before his accident that left him almost totally paralyzed and before he met Louisa. The ending is more positive.

I enjoyed a recording of this book produced by Randomhouse Audio in which the British narrator did an excellent job. As I mentioned in a previous post, Me Before You delivers a negative message about people with disabilities taking their own lives. After You centers on hopeful themes of love and moving on after loss. My favorite scene was one where Louisa, while eating lunch with friends in a French restaurant, mistakenly orders beef cheeks, and I don’t think they were the ones located on the cow’s face, either. Louisa is the most memorable character in the book. With no real direction in her own life, she’s only too happy to try and sort out the life of Will’s teen-aged daughter, who is misunderstood by her own family.

Like many books I’ve read, After You helped me put my life into perspective. Losing a loved one is hard enough, but imagine how you would feel if that loved one took his own life, and you felt powerless to stop him. I’m so thankful that wasn’t the case with my late husband Bill. You can read our story in my new memoir, My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

***

Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

 

 

Review: A Girl’s Guide to Moving On

A Girl’s Guide to Moving On

By Debbie Macomber

Copyright 2016.

 

Leanne and her daughter-in-law, Nichole, divorce their cheating husbands and move from a suburb to separate apartments in downtown Portland, Oregon. Both ex-husbands try to convince their wives to return to them, but Nichole and Leanne have had it. Nichole meets Rocco, a tow-truck driver, who pulls her car out of a ditch. Leanne meets Nicholai, a Ukrainian student in an English class she teaches at the community center. Things heat up when Leanne’s ex-husband is diagnosed with terminal cancer and Nichole’s ex-husband threatens to file for full custody of their three-year-old son, claiming that Rocco is a negative influence.

This is another of many books I’ve enjoyed from Audible. The two narrators who read alternating chapters from Leanne’s and Nichole’s points of view do an excellent job. Debbie Macomber’s reading of her introductory letter at the beginning of the book adds a nice touch.

My favorite scene was at the beginning of the book when Nichole, after finding out that her ex-husband has finally decided to sign the divorce papers, backs her car into a ditch, and Rocco, the tow-truck driver with whom she falls in love, eventually comes to her rescue. The most memorable character, I think, is Nichole’s three-year-old son, Owen. His resilience in the face of his parents’ divorce is inspiring, and his interest in tow-trucks after meeting Rocco is amusing. This book delivers a powerful, yet uplifting message about forgiveness. I recommend it to everyone and hope those in Leanne and Nichole’s situation can learn to let go of the past and move on.

Reading this book helped me put my life in perspective, especially at the end when Leanne cares for her dying ex-husband. At least my late husband Bill didn’t cheat on me so caring for him after he suffered his first stroke that confined him to a wheelchair was a no-brainer. I did this for six years, and my caregiving experiences are detailed in my new memoir, My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds, which can be purchased online from Amazon, Createspace, and Smashwords in paperback and various eBook formats.

***

Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds