“Still Me” by Jojo Moyes

Still Me by Jojo MoyesThe second sequel to Jojo Moyes’ smash hit Me Before You picks up almost immediately where the last book ended. The final scene of After You had Louisa Clark holding her brand-new passport, about to board a plane from London to New York. The first scene of Still Me sees her going through customs in New York, ready to begin her new life in America.

Starting over doesn’t mean she wants everything to be different. She hopes her (temporary?) move will not bring about an end to her relationship with sexy paramedic Sam, who is staying behind in the U.K.

Once again, Louisa will be serving as an assistant to a wealthy person. In Me Before You, of course, she worked for (and fell in love with) Will Traynor, a quadriplegic who chose to end his life by means of assisted suicide. Now, her employer is super-rich businessman Leonard Gopnik, who hires her to serve as a paid companion to his much-younger second wife, Agnes. Before she became the new Mrs. Gopnik, Agnes was an immigrant from Poland, working as a masseuse—and she’s having difficulties adapting to her new life. Louisa’s task is to stay by her side, whether that means attending a family dinner with Leonard’s sullen daughter from his first marriage, or an elegant charity ball. (At times, I wondered why Agnes—whom I always pictured looking like a younger Melania Trump—was so shunned by the other society wives; surely there must be other Eastern European trophy spouses in that scene for her to hang with?)

At one particularly glamorous event, Louisa meets Josh Ryan, a cute and ambitious New Yorker who quickly becomes infatuated with her. Meanwhile, back in England, Sam has a new partner at work, a beautiful woman who is hoping he’ll forget about his long-distance love. Can their relationship survive these twin temptations?

I thought Still Me was an improvement over After You, which had Louisa spinning her wheels through much of the book, working at a cheesy airport bar, not quite able to move on with her life. Things still go wrong for her in Still Me—it wouldn’t be a very interesting book otherwise, would it?—but this time around, Louisa is smarter and more self-confident.

Moyes has said that “once I committed to write the sequel to Me Before You, I would also write a third book. I saw it quite clearly as a trilogy.” So this may be the last we see of Louisa. If so, Moyes has left her in a good place, giving our resourceful and relatable heroine the happy ending she deserves.

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