by Jojo Moyes
"Aren't Jojo Moyes's books, well, sort of...insipid?" asked my friend as I rhapsodized about this book.
"No," I replied, "Definitely not, it's only her cover art."
And, you must admit, the titles and the cover art of her books suggest a certain boilerplate cheesiness within. But this is most definitely not the case here. This author is taking on tough topics, including assisted suicide, chronic pain, and, most importantly, the meaning of life when life has seemingly lost all meaning. She does so with delicacy and without judgment, giving intelligent voices to both sides of topics not often discussed--even herein--in calm and thoughtful voices. Reading this book brought to mind some of my favorite reads on the same subject, namely "A Lesson Before Dying" and "Man's Search for Meaning".
In particular, however, this story brought to mind "Dying Well", a concept beautifully covered in Dr. Ira Byock's book with that title. No marking time in a living death once Lou enters Will's life; as they grow to love one another, each gives the other the gift of meaning.
"He who has a why to live can bear almost any how," per Nietzsche. Unfortunately, the operative word here is 'almost'. Love or hate the ending; you won't ever forget it.