Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

This month’s Books & Broads Book Club novel was Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.  I must preface that I really was not excited about reading this book due to the content of the storyline – Suicide.  I am a glass is half full kinda gal and I believe there is nothing so horrible in your life that would justify taking your own life, Dear Bloggites.

That being said, I do understand what would bring a person to that point in life.  I have been there when I was younger and I was there when I had my car accident in 1995.  I do believe everyone has a right to die on their terms if they are suffering from a terminal situation, however, it really should be a last resort type of decision and not a spur of the moment one.

Me Before You by Jojo MoyesThe novel, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, is about a man, Will Traynor, who was a hard-core outdoor man who found himself a quadriplegic after a freak accident.  Due to the situation Will finds himself in, he decides to end his life by assisted suicide.  His parents begrudgingly agree but request he wait six months.  Enter in Louisa Clark.  Louisa is a woman who does not know what she wants out of life and the demands of family and responsibility put her under a lot of pressure.  Louisa agrees to take a six month job as a home aide helper for Will.

The storyline hits home to me on many points with the different situations each character faces due to current personal situations I am having to deal with in my life right now with my Parental Units.  The author, Jojo Moyes, did a wonderful job at creating true to form characters that the reader instantly connects with them.  We have all felt a struggle in our lives that at least one character is dealing with that the reader finds themselves connecting on an emotional level throughout the story.

I consider this book a tragic love story because Louisa battles death for Will’s life.  During Louisa’s six month job, they fall in love, yet Will’s mind is made up and Louisa tries hard to change it by helping him learn that even though he is a quadriplegic, his life can still be lived and enjoyed.

The book is written in first person (which I do not like), but due to the content and the desired effect the author was going for, it works well in this format.  There were a couple of places where the author changed the format on the writing style that may throw the reader off and on one of these places, it seems the author forgot which character’s point of view she was writing about and wound up changing to the main character’s point of view.

All in all, I give Me Before You by Jojo Moyes 4 out of 5 Bookmarks.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure

Long time, no blog, Dear Bloggites.  Life loves to get in the way of my ability to blog.  ThisThe Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure.jpg book review is very late and is over the novel my Books & Broads Book Club read in May.

The novel we read was The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure.  The storyline was about a down and out architect, Lucien Bernard, who accepted a commission to create a hiding place inside a home for Auguste Manet during the German invasion of Paris, France.  The hiding place was for Manet to hide any Jewish people the Germans were searching for in Paris.  One of the twists in the novel was that Lucien, through Manet, also received commissions from the Germans to build military style compounds for additional weapons to be stored or made during the war.  This commission brought about an interesting friendship that was built between Lucien and a German officer, Dieter Herzog, who also was a structural engineer for his home country of Germany.

Intrigue is an appropriate word I would use for the overall theme of the storyline.  Living the double life through Lucien and Manet helped the reader find themselves investing in the good guys winning in the end while wanting the bad guys to suffer for the injustices they doled out to any Jew or Parisian.  The different descriptions of the various architectural buildings was fascinating to me.  I love architecture and have always had an infatuation with how architects were able to construct the amazing buildings I see.  Charles Belfoure helped the reader delve into the mind of an architect through Lucien.

That being said, Lucien is not a very likable character and many of my Books & Broads Book Club Mates did not like him even at the end of the book.  I found him to be very weak and selfish at the beginning of the book.  He was the type of person who always put himself first over all others, however, by the end I did warm up to him when he finally found his true calling in life.

The author, Charles Belfoure, did a wonderful job with addressing the war-time era without taking away from the storyline.  I cringe each time I am to read a book that has any kind of war theme behind it because I find too many novels lose the storyline in the description of the war atmosphere.

The characters throughout The Paris Architect were well developed and gave the reader some kind of emotional response, be it hate, love, disgust, admiration, etc., the reader did form an opinion on each character.  The descriptions of Paris during the invasion was just enough to give a visual in the reader’s head but not so much that it overpowers the characters in the novel.

I did feel the author left some of the characters unfinished in the story, so much, that I felt they served no purpose in the book.  I understand the author was looking to give some kind of visual of the Jewish people and the suffering they went through, but I felt each character was an afterthought thus putting a bit of a bad taste in my mouth for the story.   Aside from this factor, I did enjoy the novel, The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure, and would consider reading additional novels by him.

I give The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure 4 out of 5 Bookmarks.  Give it a whirl, Dear Bloggites, if you like to read about the challenges people faced during wartime.

~4-Ever, P