Welcome to Week 4 of the Online Book Club!
I hope you were able to finish the book this week. The end of the book is incredibly sobering, so I hope that you were able to get through it all.
As you can imagine, this book and movie garnered some controversy. Some groups were disappointed with the ending and feel that Will choosing to end his life proves that Jojo Moyes feels that disabled people don’t have a life worth living. Others were frustrated that in the movie, the character of Will was played by a non-disabled actor. If you’re interested to learn more about some of the objections to the movie and book, read this article. If you’re interested to read what one paralyzed woman thought of the movie, read this article.
If you’re interested in hearing Jojo Moyes defend her story and explain where she originally came up with the idea for the book, check out this video.
I just find this book to be incredibly sad, and it has stuck with me throughout the month. I have to confess that I checked out the movie several times, but I just couldn’t bring myself to watch it. Reading this book for a second time—now as a new parent, I just can’t stop thinking about Will’s parents and how sad and full of despair they must have been. I just find their part of the story to be extra heartbreaking. And, I find Lou’s ending to be really sad. I know that she has the chance to make a change in her life, but she seems to be incredibly broken by Will’s death.
I really don’t know what to think about this book. I think it’s a well-written story, and I enjoyed the characters. And I don’t think that Jojo Moyes is implying through Will’s story that all disabled people don’t have lives worth living. But the ending unsettles me, and I can’t stop thinking about it.
Were any of you able to come to any sort of conclusion with this book? Do you think Moyes was just trying to tell the story of one man, or do you think she was making a comment about disabled people in general? Were you surprised by the ending? Do you think the role of Will in the movie should have been portrayed by a disabled actor?
Thanks for reading along with me this month. I hope you check out the video and articles on this post—I think they helped me get more closure from the book.
If you’d like to read more about Lou, make sure to check out the sequel, After You.
I hope you’ll come back next month as we read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. See you then!