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Jojo Moyes Shows Us That Life Happens AFTER YOU

Readers loved–and lost–alongside Louisa Clark in Me Before You, and, now, Jojo Moyes continues Louisa’s story in it’s sequel, After You. Now that Will Traynor is gone, Louisa’s life is solitary and grey. She lives alone, works at an airport bar, and shields herself from getting emotionally attached to anyone. Suddenly, though, she has an accident that changes everything. Louisa reconnects with her family. She begins attending grief group sessions. She meets Lily, a teenager who throws her world asunder. She begins chatting with a handsome ambulance driver, Sam. Through all of that, Jojo Moyes expertly explores the process of grieving and change. She shows how grieving is a universal struggle that people react to differently and how out of grieving comes change. Indeed, Moyes writes, “The only way to avoid being left behind is to start moving.”

Anna Acton, a British television and film actress, beautifully narrates After You. Her inflections and accent variations perfectly brings each of the male and female characters to life–from Will Traynor’s posh parents and Lily’s bratty teenage attitude to Sam’s slightly rough-yet-caring voice. Acton, of course, excels with Louisa. Her voice captures all of Louisa–her range of emotions, her struggles, and her triumphs. You can hear Louisa change from the beginning through to the end as she re-enters the world, embracing life.

Embracing life in all it’s messiness is what Louisa’s story is all about. Perhaps the line that is the heart of After You is uttered by Sam to Louisa: “You live! You throw yourself into everything and try not to think about the bruises.”

Listen to a clip of Anna Acton reading After You:

Even more enthusiasm for After You:

Read a Q&A with Jojo Moyes from the Wall Street Journal.

Check out the glowing review from the Miami Herald.

Visit Jojo Moyes on Facebook.