In After You
Jojo Moyes’s sequel to her bestselling novel Me Before You
, we meet Louisa Clark two years after her life with Will Traynor ended. Since her six-month stint caring for paraplegic Will, Lou has been reeling, and struggling to truly accept his death. She’s working in an airport bar that requires a humiliating costume, living on her own in a London flat, and drinking copiously to drown her sorrows. Despite all that Will taught her, Lou can’t quite figure out where to go next.
During one lonely night looking out over London from her rooftop, she falls—a major accident that sends her to the hospital with broken bones and a deep sense of shame. Upon her release, she moves in with her parents, who are increasingly concerned about her state of mind. When she’s well enough, they allow her to go home to her flat—with the caveat that she must start attending a weekly support group.
Lou reluctantly agrees to try out the Moving On Circle, where she slowly learns to open up—about her grief and to other people. And there she meets Sam, a handsome paramedic, who may be the one man who can truly understand her devastation. Then Lily, a figure from Will’s past, shows up at Lou’s door. Soon she will become a dominant presence in Lou’s life, commandeering her plans for the future. Lou finds herself drawn to the troubled Lily, and over time, warms up to her unpredictable but often winning ways. These new relationships start to give Lou’s once-floundering life shape and a renewed sense of purpose. But when Lou’s friend Nathan offers her a potential job opportunity in New York City, with the chance to start over and launch a real career, Lou must decide what kind of life she truly wants to lead. . . .
Lou is as lovable and relatable as ever, and the rambunctious Clark family is brought vividly and hilariously to life. Emotionally charged and devastatingly romantic, After You
explores the ways we can rebuild ourselves after unthinkable loss. Jojo Moyes once again dazzles with her trademark storytelling, humor, and insight into the way we heal and move on.
Questions and Topics for Discussion
1. What is Louisa’s emotional state at the start of this book? What has transpired for her between Will’s death and now?
2. Lou’s gig at the Shamrock and Clover is a great source of humor in the book. What other function does this particular job play in the book and how does it serve the story?
3. Lou worries that after her accident everyone thinks she’s suicidal. How would you describe her mental state and her role in the fall? Is she responsible, and why or why not?
4. Throughout the book Lou and her loved ones question her life decisions, and if she is in fact “living” at all after Will’s death. What is holding her back and what ultimately allows her to make changes?
5. Lou finds herself attracted to Sam, but she isn’t always straightforward with him about her feelings. What keeps her from being intimate with him?
6. How are the Traynors dealing with their complex grief in different ways?
7. How does the Moving On Circle help Lou? What insights does she take away from her experience?
8. In Chapter 19, the point of view changes to Lily’s perspective. Why does the author make this shift and how does it serve the overall plot of the book?
9. A running theme in the novel is about personal freedom and how Lou, Treena, and their mother all feel trapped by their respective situations. How do they learn from one another? How might they each benefit from having more freedom?
10. What does Lou learn from her relationship with Sam and how might these lessons serve her in her new life?
About this Author
Jojo Moyes is the New York Times
bestselling author of Me Before You
, One Plus One
, The Girl You Left Behind
, The Last Letter from Your Lover
, Silver Bay
, The Ship of Brides
, and Honeymoon in Paris
. She lives with her husband and thee children on a farm in England.