Me Before You and the Culture of Love
“Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.
When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.” — from the back cover
Jojo Moyes' novel, Me Before You, has created quite the buzz in dealing with the topic of physician assisted suicide (but that’s a whole other can of worms). However, it's the actual love story I have a bigger issue with. Me Before You has been touted as "the perfect modern love story", a fact which grieves me to no end.
Now, before you cast me as a Debbie Downer and hater of all things romance and good literature let me clarify by saying I actually loved this story! I think Jojo Moyes is a phenomenal writer. She has the ability to take you inside the mind of a quadriplegic man planning on physician assisted suicide and actually understand his point of view, not that I agreed with it. She made me feel all the feels. I fell in love with Will and Louisa while they were falling in love with one another. Now, I’m sure you’re probably wondering why, if I think this is such a well-written story, am I so strongly set against it?
It is because Me Before You has taken one man’s selfishness and marketed it as love.
The concept of love has gone from “I will die for you” to “I will literally die for myself”. Gone is the thought of giving up your desires in order to love and serve others. Nope. Now the message being preached from every corner of media is to love yourself, do what makes you happy, put yourself first and if someone loves you they will understand.
This is not love, my friends.
Read the rest at The Rising