by Jojo Moyes
To escape Brisbane's stifling humidity, I made a visit to my airconditioned local library. My intention was to find a book that was light to read but intelligently written. Passing the display of FastBack books (seven-day loan) Jojo Moyes' Still Me caught my eye.
I'd read Moyes' first book, Me Before You, published in 2012. Truthfully, I devoured it, in between holding back tears. Me Before You is a love story, with a thought-provoking ending. It centres on a topic passionately debated around dinner tables and challenges you to ask yourself what you would do. (Spoiler alert: the book touches on the subject of assisted suicide.)
Still Me by Jojo Moyes.
Moyes writes in a conversational tone, with relatable characters whose relationships are easily identifiable. This is the third book in a series that started with Me Before You (the second is After You) and the quirky outlook on life of the books' main character, Louisa Clark or "Lou", continues. As I eagerly read (it's a FastBack, remember?), I am inside Lou's mind, relating to her responses to the nuances of her life. The common thread is Lou's uneasiness in conducting a long-distance relationship with new boyfriend Ambulance Sam, who is based in London, while she embarks on a personal journey as a live-in carer in New York City.
Lou regularly abandons "the gloss of lower Manhattan" to take the subway to 163rd Street when she becomes involved in demonstrations against the threatened closure of a community library in Washington Heights, a neighbourhood at the northern tip of the island where the "atmosphere is scented with fried food and disillusionment"
With all the Big Apple's challenges, the library becomes her safe haven. It reminded me of my library, one that presents chances to discover stories, including in books I'd not realised were published.
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