WARNING: SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRE NOVEL. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Here are my thoughts after having completed the novel in its entirety:
*Stabs book with kitchen knife*
*Runs over book with car*
*Sets book on fire*
It was great.
No, really, I thought it was great.
But I am not happy.
I did not want Will to go through with the Dignitas procedure. I wanted for him and Louisa to be together for the rest of their lives, come what may. I wanted Louisa’s love for him to be enough. I didn’t want for him to give up.
He did die happy. That was a small consolation for me. But I am mad, like Louisa.
I’m mad that he chose to die in spite of all the new opportunities that were being presented to him.
No, he would never recover from being a quadriplegic, but his family had money and connections that would enable him to do things other quadriplegics can’t do because of financial restraints. He had someone who truly cared about him and was willing to go the extra mile to make him happy.
So yeah. I’m still angry with Will Traynor.
I will say this, however: it did not end the way I wanted it to end, but I believe it ended the way it needed to end.
Right or wrong, I believe that his final decision was in keeping with his character and it made the most narrative sense for him to go along with his original plans to euthanize himself.
It would have been too Hollywood for him to change his mind, I suppose.
I liked that this book was fair to the complexity of mercy-killing. I still couldn’t tell you where I stand on the issue, but I’m glad the author decided to show both sides of the argument without completely vilifying those that believe euthanizing a person is wrong.
As I’ve written in a previous post, most authors nowadays don’t want to write complexity. They prefer concrete right and wrong. My views are perfect and yours are wrong. Woe to all who disagree with me! This books was a nice reprieve from that.
I will not read the sequel, After You, as I don’t think my heart can take it.
But I think I may check out more of Jojo Moyes’ books if they’re half as good as this one.