‘The day was beautiful, even under strip-lights. Outside birds sang, a new morning dawned, people lived and grew and got better and looked forward to getting older. I bought a coffee and ate an over-sweet muffin and they tasted like the most delicious things I had ever had.’
‘After You’ follows the story of Liz Clark, first brought to us in ‘Me Before You’, a book I enjoyed, even I did not weep copiously like all the reader reviewers mentioned in the end pages. Louisa Clark has lost the love of her life (I am trying my best not to spoil things if you’ve not read the first book), and is working a deadbeat job in an airport pub. Everyone around her is going somewhere, while Lou stays firmly stuck behind the bar counter (or cleaning the toilets).
Lou’s journey is emotional rather than physical, as she tries to make sense of what has happened in her life, and become ‘unstuck’.Whether this is an accurate portrait of grief, I can’t comment on (thankfully).
I found it a relatively light but engaging read, with an amiable heroine and a cast of supporting characters that kept me invested and eager to turn the pages. I’m quite fond of Lou and her family. There’s nothing too profound here, just a simple good story.