I've been unable to find a good way to describe the book, so I'll begin with a product synopsis:
Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.
What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.
All the way through the book, I enjoyed the characters and their experiences, marveling at the way Moyes balanced an accurate description concerning details of a quadriplegic's life and the struggle Lou has in her attempt to improve Will's situation. Plenty of light moments offset the grimness of certain aspects of Will's life, and Moyes manages to include both humor and grim reality without becoming maudlin or sentimental.
Let's face it, the life of a quadriplegic is a struggle for survival with so many medical issues in play. Will is often angry and sarcastic and depressed, but Lou's presence in his life keeps him interested. Moyes handles the subject with sensitivity and tackles some serious issues concerning freedom of choice.
Lou and Will are characters worth meeting, their stories are interesting, and although there may be tears, overall, the novel is uplifting.
Fiction. 2012. 481 pages.