By the time I picked up this book, my anger at Me Before You had almost subsided, but then Jojo Moyes decided to continue to stab me in the heart with Louisa’s story.
I’ll say this, Me Before You was probably my favorite book in this trilogy, but that isn’t to say I disliked the other two. My rage simmered throughout After You and Still Me because Moyes writes such likeable characters. I was shattered after Me Before You and I still kind of can’t let go of my sadness.
Still Me was the closure to Louisa’s story that I needed. And it was definitely a whirlwind.
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She steps into the world of the superrich, working for Leonard Gopnik and his much younger second wife, Agnes. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her new job and New York life.
As she begins to mix in New York high society, Lou meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. Before long, Lou finds herself torn between Fifth Avenue where she works and the treasure-filled vintage clothing store where she actually feels at home. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself: Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you find the courage to follow your heart–wherever that may lead?
Funny, romantic, and poignant, Still Me follows Lou as she discovers who she is and who she was always meant to be–and to live boldly in her brave new world.
Part of the reason this book was so frustrating to me was Ambulance Sam. I really like him for Louisa, but the problem with their relationship is starts off while she’s still grieving and then they only have like three months together before she leaves for her new job in New York. I know they love each other but a lot of the turmoil they faced throughout this novel could have been avoided if they’d just put a stopper on their relationship until she returned to England. I feel like when Lou arrived in New York she really limited herself – or held herself back – because of Ambulance Sam.
I understand why Moyes had their relationship struggle to survive the long distance. It made the story work.. I just didn’t necessarily like all the trouble Lou went through in this one. It’s just like – why can’t this woman catch a freaking break?!
Oh and all that shit with Katie. Unnecessary. Sam and Lou went through it enough on their own – Katie was an unnecessary, underdeveloped character. I can’t even really remember much about her other than she was obsessed with Sam.
The New Employer
The Gopnik’s have their problems. I mean Agnes is the same age as Lou and Leonard is probably in his sixties. Safe to say he’s old enough to be her father. I’m not judging – love is love, but the issue I have with their relationship is that Agnes has built it on secrets and lies. She could have just told him about her issues with her family in Poland and saved everyone a lot of trouble.
It’s not shocking that Agnes loves Lou as a friend. She ends up not defending her to protect herself toward the middle of the story which isn’t surprising. It’s just not very friend-like. It was messed up how quickly Lou was dismissed, yet in true Lou spirit, she didn’t give up.
Margot De Witt
Perhaps the most surprising outcome of this story is the relationship that blooms between Mrs. De Witt and Lou. The old woman was a fashion mogul in her younger years so, of course, when Lou realizes it, they really hit it off. Her pug, Dean Martin, also helps forge a really lovely friendship between the younger and older women.
What I like most about this friendship is the encouragement Margot offers to Lou during what I’ll call the dark days. She encourages her to be herself. To not shape herself to any man. To embrace her own sense of fashion. In particular, I enjoyed the moment Lou refuses to change out of her bumblebee tights for a night out with the Corporates because of Mrs. De Witt.
In the end, Lou and Margot end up being really great friends for each other despite the age gap. Lou helps Mrs. De Witt reach out to her estranged family and Mrs. De Witt enables Lou to figure out her dreams, while also enabling her to remain in New York.
Josh (His Last Name Doesn’t Matter)
However much he looks like Will. He. Is. Not. Will. Traynor.
Dude’s the biggest, most pompous asshole ever. I’ll leave it there.
I liked Lily MUCH more in this one! Not only is she doing SO MUCH better by living with Mrs. Traynor, she’s also playing matchmaker (and well).
I don’t have too much to say about Lily as she plays such a minor role in this book, but as far as character progression and growth goes – Lily nails it!
For me, this was a neat conclusion to Lou’s story. I’m not left wanting more because I’ve created a nice little story for Lou and her fella in my mind. I don’t actually want to read more from Lou even though I adore her. In my head, her story has concluded. I’m happy with the ending of this series (if it is, in fact the end). If there were to be another sequel, I can’t say with confidence I wouldn’t read it, but I’m about 90% sure I’d let it slip past. Like I said, this conclusion was lovely.
Honestly, there was a bit in the middle where I felt like Jojo was adding chaos for the sake of making the book more lengthy. There’s such a thing as drivel in literature and some of the chaos of Lou’s life in the middle was drivel that could’ve been left out. I really believe this book could’ve been at least 75 pages shorter without compromising the ending. This is the reason it didn’t get 4 from me.
Have you read any of Moyes’ other works? I found myself loving her writing style so I’m hoping for some recommendations for other books by her I should read. Drop me a recommendation in the comments… not that my TBR can handle much more haha.