Still Me by Jojo Moyes is the third installment of the Me Before You series. Last year, I did a combined book review for Me Before You and its sequel, After You because I read them so quickly. You can check that post out here.
There will be some spoilers ahead, so fair warning if you plan to read any of these three books.
Still Me picks up right where After You left off, with Louisa Clark making her way onto the plane to head to New York. We get to experience the city with her firsthand as someone who has never been to New York, or the United States, before. Since I haven’t been to New York, it was fun to “experience” this along with Louisa. There was a predictable yet still funny scene where Louisa witnesses a fight break out in a coffee shop. I have noticed that a lot of British writers include things like that when their books are set in the U.S., probably because that is exactly the kind of thing that happens on the regular here (!)
Louisa catches up with Nathan, whom she worked with when she was employed by the Traynor’s, and he introduces her to the new family they are both working for. The Gopnik’s live in a posh building, oozing money, and it is one of the most glamorous places Louisa has ever seen. While Nathan is there to serve as an on-hand physical therapist to Mr. Gopnik, Louisa is there to serve as a personal assistant to his wife, Agnes Gopnik. Agnes immediately tells Louisa they can be friends as opposed to employer and employee. Although Agnes’ daily activities are intense, Louisa is excited that she is saying “yes” to new opportunities and experiencing the city in much the same way Will did when he was there so many years before.
Louisa soon finds out that the Gopnik’s are as complicated a family as she has ever worked for, and their home is full of secrets. As she tries to ease into her new position, Louisa is also trying to maintain her relationship with Sam (from After You) who is back home in London. Over the weeks and months she is in New York, she meets people from all walks of life, learns things about Agnes she wishes she didn’t have to keep secret, and feels lost between her two continents as she struggles to figure out who she is and what is important to her.
As always, the secondary characters, such as Lily, Treena, Louisa’s parents, and Mrs. Traynor, are shown to have their own stories developing right along with Louisa. I love that Jojo Moyes makes a point to include them, and make them feel a part of the “main character” circle.
I had a lot of thoughts while reading this book. I enjoyed it so much, just as I did with the last two. I would say it was better than After You, but I really only think that because in this book Louisa wasn’t depressed and still mourning Will. It’s so hard to watch a favorite character go through tough times, isn’t it?
Here are a few things that were a little iffy to me as I was reading:
There was no proper closure between Agnes and Louisa. How could Agnes have never said a word to her again after watching her husband berate Louisa and fire her for something she told her to do? I was disappointed in Agnes for this.
I was relieved that Louisa broke things off with Josh, but why did it take Margot telling her she should before she did? It seems like Louisa only makes big changes in her life when people tell her to…
…that being said, I thought the way she took the time to write letters with Sam was a good sign of growth. No one was coaching her on a decision, and she wasn’t asking other people’s opinions about him at that point, she was truly making the decision about Sam on her own and over a good amount of time.
Finally, being a librarian myself, I was so thrilled to see Louisa spending time in a public library. Not only that, but managing to save one on the cusp of financial ruin?! Whoa. Very cool.