There is a longer than usual story behind this review(s). I have mentioned before how clueless I was about popular authors, books to movies that are popular and several other things along these lines. Starting a blog and then interacting with other bloggers (or at least reading and taking to heart what they wrote) opened my eyes to what was out there!
Jojo Moyes was one author mentioned several times and I thought I would give the books a shot since there seemed to be a few available right on my library shelves. I did read, enjoy and review One Plus One by Jojo Moyes. When ‘Still me’ released, I saw so many good reviews that I blindly added it to my TBR (I no longer do that anymore, anything that makes its way on to my virtual Goodreads to-read shelf now faces a lot of scrutiny, considering my current list of unread books!). I did not even realise that I had watched the movie based on the first book (yes, that’s how blind I was). When I had the book in my hand I realized that it was a continuous tale and reading it in order would probably be the best course of action. I then methodically got all three and read them. I have to say I liked the fact that there were sequels, I will explain further shortly.
I try to avoid as many spoilers as possible in the following review.
We are introduced to our leading lady Louisa Clark and her delightful family. Things are hard for them and money is tight. Louisa lands a job because of her attitude and things get interesting from that point. The only thing I would say with regards to the movie is that the actress was too skinny for this role. There are multiple mentions of the normal build that Louisa has and how her boyfriend points out ‘healthy’ ways she could lead her life.
The story is also about Will, who is the shell of the man he once was. His mind (un)fortunately is as sharp as it always was and it chafes at his disabilities and the pain that comes with it. I did spend a good chunk of the book trying to mentally nudge Louisa to come to her senses about Patrick, but since it was a written book, the story took its time. Both the families of the story were interesting and so easy to emotionally bond with. At the end of the book, although it was sad in its own right you feel hopeful for all of them.
This book did not start off as well as I would have liked but I think the point it makes is important. If the series ended with the first one, it would seem like a partial modern fairytale. In this scenario, there is the aftermath of being in the position that Louisa now finds herself. The family dynamics have been altered and most people do not know how to work with it. This book is about how you can reach a new normal. Louisa continues to try and find surrogates to fulfill her nurturing requirement and that is not something that always turns out well. I liked Lily and thought her an interesting addition to the story. It seemed highly probably given the history we are provided in the first book.
After the initial setback Louisa faces at the beginning of the book, she starts to piece her life back together and new opportunities come her way.
The final book where Louisa takes the opportunity and moves to New York. She gives it one year but things do not always work out the way you intend them to. I think this was an effective culmination of the series. The shadow of Will continues to hang around but it achieves a balance in a way to delegate its position to something less heavy and more nostalgic. Her life in NYC is not free of pot-holes but something always works out. This story is probably the steepest learning curve where she ends up repeating a few of her older mistakes.
Her family has come a long way from the minor troubles they have in the second book and add a splash of colour and laughs in this one.
I think if you plan(ned) to read one book in this series, I highly recommend reading all of them. Especially, if like me you like to see it all wrapped in a nice bow while spending more time with likable characters.
P.S: This is a pre-scheduled post that I am setting to post when I am travelling, I might get to the comments a little later than usual but I will be (probably more than) periodically checking the blog.
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