It’s funny how one person can have a major impact on your life. Even if that involvement is just peripheral, it ripples outward and touches other parts of your life.
I’ve been reading two books that are a perfect example: Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You and One Plus One. Me Before You is the story of Louisa Clark, a young woman who goes to work as a caregiver to Will Traynor, a quadriplegic after a road accident.
Louisa is relatively happy leading a small life in a small town, but Will gets her to understand that there is much more to be seen and enjoyed in life, that it is her “duty to live life as fully as possible.” They’re able to help each other and Will becomes a mentor of sorts. Through Louisa’s eyes, the book also makes you better understand what life is like for a quadriplegic.
There was a 2016 movie made from the book, with Sam Claflin (from The Hunger Games trilogy) and Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) playing the lead roles. The movie stayed fairly faithful to the book, but there are a few surprises in it that weren’t mentioned in the movie. (I’m not telling. Go read it.)
One Plus One was equally gripping and one of those books it was hard to put down. In this book, the protagonist is Jess Thomas, a single mom and optimist with teenage stepson Nick and a daughter, Tanzie, who is a math genius. Tanzie has the opportunity to enter a prestigious school but her family’s funds are not enough. The family hears about a math competition in Scotland that would provide enough money for Tanzie to attend the school.
Enter Ed Nicholls, who owns a local home that Jess cleans and is struggling with problems in his own life. Ed happens upon the family as their car quits and impulsively offers them and their dog a ride to Scotland, so they can make it to the math contest in time.
The story of the trip makes interesting reading (!) and so does the aftermath of the trip. Things that Ed does and suggests help to resolve the family’s problems. I won’t give away the whole plot, but suffice to say that the book ends with some unexpected surprises.
Both books make you aware of how easy it is to touch someone’s life, even in a simple way. Great reading, both of them.
Video credit: Movieclips Trailers, YouTube.