You are scored on my heart, Clark.
When Will Traynor wrote those famous words to Louisa Clark at the end of Me Before You, I pretty much cried, “Mine too, Will! MINE TOO!”
Well, let’s be honest. I pretty much cried—and cried and cried and cried—into oblivion, but then I cried, “Mine too!” because Louisa Clark made an impression on me. She quickly became one of my favorite fictional characters, someone I knew I would root for and care about long after I finished that last chapter. I adored Lou, and I grew to adore her even more in the brilliant sequel, After You. Now, Jojo Moyes has done it again, bringing our plucky, fashionably adventurous heroine back in Still Me, the perfect conclusion to the beloved trilogy.
Still Me finds our resilient Lou in New York, ready to live boldly by embarking on a new adventure, a new job, and a year of yes as she broadens her horizons and embraces a barrage of first-time experiences. Despite the ocean separating her from her boyfriend, Ambulance Sam, Lou is confident (well, trying to be confident) that they can maintain their blooming relationship long distance. Working as a personal assistant and companion to Agnes Gopnik, the much younger second wife of an uber wealthy Fifth Avenue financier, Lou finds herself thrown into a foreign world of the Manhattan elite, and when she meets Joshua Ryan, a man who bears a striking resemblance to Will Traynor, the lines between her future and her past become muddled. Thousands of miles from the home she never thought she’d leave, struggling to find her sense of place and sense of self, Lou must decide who she is, what she wants, and how she wants to “just live” this gift of a life she’s been given.
Louisa’s world has only expanded over the course of these books, and every new character who enters her life, from friendly doorman Ashok to elderly, curmudgeonly neighbor Margot De Witt, is vibrant, fully realized, and fully unforgettable. Ambulance Sam is as dreamy as ever, and reconnecting with Lou’s family and the Traynors was like catching up with old friends I desperately missed. What’s wonderful about the evolution of these novels is not only how Lou has grown and changed, but witnessing how all of the other characters have naturally transformed as well, both by time and the experiences that have shaped them. As sad as I am to see this series come to a close, I couldn’t imagine a more perfect final installment. This trilogy so beautifully captures the journey of loss and living, and only an author as gifted as Jojo Moyes could manage to convey so much humor, sadness, and honesty in the span of one sentence. Like life itself, Still Me unfolds in ways I never would have anticipated, and it had me laughing, weeping, and holding it so very close to my heart until the very end.
Here’s one of the true beauties of books: they may end–an entire series you’ve become so invested in may end–but those characters, if they’re really special, will stay with you forever. Still Me, like Me Before You and After You, is a book I will always cherish, and Louisa Clark will always be scored on my heart.