Monday, January 23, 2012

Waiting for a Book... and the Healing Power of Jane Austen

On the way home from work today, my lovely husband said, "I hope you get the book you're waiting for today." This was a very sweet sentiment of him, but most likely he meant so you'll start reading it and give me some peace.

Because right now, I am waiting (and not patiently) for this book:

It's by one of my favorite "discovered" authors in 2011: Jojo Moyes. The Book Club of Two read The Last Letter from Your Lover last summer and I adored it! TLLFYL won the RNA award in the UK last year (Romantic Novel of the Year), but most of her other stuff hasn't really seemed to hop across the pond yet. And books take WAY longer to arrive when they are "dispatched" from the UK. (I love all the language they use on Amazon's UK website!) 

Me Before You is the story of a rich guy who lives a fast life, until he is paralyzed by a motorcycle accident, which leaves him a quadriplegic. He is considering assisted suicide, but his mother begs him to give life another chance... live for six more months. In that time, his mother hires a caregiver and companion for him, but she's not looking for medical experience... she wants to find a vibrant soul who will help her son realize that life is beautiful... and worth living. It's a love story, and I think--hope--that it will be a story that affirms life and love. 

But to hold me over, while I anxiously run to our little mailslot everyday, and stomp away like a disappointed two-year-old, I've been enjoying Jojo's website. I mean, it's not the good stuff: I can't wait for a fix of the real stuff, but it's methadone. It'll take the edge off. 

Here's a fun article Moyes wrote about the healing power of literature, from the Daily Telegraph:

Thank you, Jojo, for so eloquently citing more reasons why reading is important:

"but as anyone who loves books knows, fiction -- and Austen especially -- is a great remedy for the steeper humps of the human condition." 

"Literature holds up a mirror: it may reflect your own life back at you, or it may show you something exaggerated... One favorite book cited to me yesterday by a cancer survivor was the gruelling The Pianist, by Wladyslaw Szpilman 'because,' she said, 'it said I could get through it.' Perhaps this is the clearest message... And it's a message that literature delivers far more effectively than most self-help books, or the velvety tones of Oprah Winfrey: you will endure this, just as other people have endured it. And you can survive."


SaraO said...

Love this post, and the sound of that book! I think I like the premise more than Last Letter. Very interesting dynamic and not one I've ever read about.

Plus, kudos to that article! Don't all readers know that novels touch far deeper than anything else...

Trish said...

Husbands! They know us so well, don't they? (and sometimes we have them figured out too) lol

This sounds like a lovely book.

Canada said...

I loved this book so much I was prompted to write my first review of a book ever. I was taken on a journey of laughter, tears and learning of what it must be like to have a disability. It was so insightful, I find it amazing that it was written by an able bodied person. Thank you so much for the hours of enjoyment.