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A former journalist for The Independent, Jojo Moyes has been writing novels since 2002. She is a well-known romance writer in Great Britain, having twice received the Romantic Novel of the Year Award, in 2004 for "Foreign Fruit" (titled "Windfallen" in the US) and in 2011 for The Last Letter from Your Lover. However, some of the subjects she analyses are more tragic than romantic.
Me Before You
Me Before You is not only a beautiful love story, but an intense and realistic account of the struggle of a quadriplegic whose life was shattered after a traffic accident.
Will had a full life, a successful career and numerous friends, but lost it all. Lou is hired to become his care assistant. A tense and incredible relationship is developing between those two broken being, for Lou herself has experienced trauma and is emotionally paralyzed. Will tries to help her become autonomous, just as she tries to help him become unbounded from his condition. Jojo Moyes describes this poignant friendship with sensitivity, realism and a delicate humor which gives some relief to the sad and controversial topic of euthanasia discussed in the book.
The Girl You Left Behind
Her latest novel, The Girl You Left Behind is a compelling story of love, war, sacrifice and heroism with complex and combative characters whose personalities intensify the intrigue. There is Sophie, a young French woman living in occupied France during WWI, and there is Olivia living in modern day London. A century apart, they nonetheless share the same deep, unwavering love for their husbands which they are determined to defend against all odds. Jojo Moyes artfully weaves both stories utilizing a dual time frame narrative in which a portrait painted before WWI by Sophie's husband is inherited by Olivia. This painting, a symbol of desire and longing, profoundly impacts the lives of many characters.
The Last Letter from Your Lover
In The Last Letter from Your Lover, we also meet two very strong women in different time frames. Jennifer, suffering from amnesia after a traffic accident, is bewildered to discover in her home passionate letters from a former lover she cannot recall. Modern day Ellie, a journalist, will come across the beautiful letters and try to retrace this amorous story, this ill-fated love which enthralls the reader. Both women reassess their lives, a harder task for Jennifer, who is bound by the strict moral codes of her times.
This spellbinding story is more than a romantic tale, for it approaches issues such as the evolution of the role of women in society over the last century, marriage, commitments, and intellectual progress. Jojo Moyes knows how to smoothly blend in those elements in each of her books.
Other Titles Available in the Library System
Try these other titles by Jojo Moyes:
Her faithful readers are now awaiting impatiently her next novel, One Plus One, due out in July 2014.
Jocelyne C. is an extra-help assistant librarian who enjoys discovering and reading British authors. She keeps a watchful eye on their publications in the US.