When I compiled my 2014 book list I realized I should definitely write an additional post about Jojo Moyes this year.
I don’t remember the first time I noticed her novels. They might have been recommended to me on Amazon or maybe I saw them on display at a book store. At some point this summer I was looking for an easy to read, entertaining, light romance kind of book, because my mind was so busy with other stuff (work, health issues) that I thought an easy read was all I could handle at that time. I saw “Me Before You” at a bookstore and decided to buy it on a whim, expecting a classic romance or chick lit novel. Oh boy, was I wrong. And how I loved being wrong! Here’s my long review about the book.
Just a few days after reading “Me Before You” I read another one of Jojo Moyes books, because I
thought hoped that I would enjoy her other work as well. That second book was “The One Plus One” and with that one she totally won me over. I explained why in this lenghty detailed review here.
Over the last few months I’ve read four more of her novels and enjoyed all of them. Some more than others, but I was never disappointed. I still marvel at her ability to draw me in so very quickly and to make me care about these characters and to be interested in various topics. “The Horse Dancer” for instance deals quite a lot with horses and riders (go figure, with that title *g*). But seriously… horses! I’ve never in my life been a horse-loving girl, but Jojo made me care about this one. And his rider of course and the people around her.
I admit, there were some scenes or turn of events in some stories which I didn’t get 100% behind or which I considered a bit far-fetched, but I still never could put the book down, because by that point I already cared to much about Lou & Will, Jess & Ed, Tanzie, Nicky (and Norman, of course), Sarah, Boo, Natasha & Mac, Liza & Mike, Frances & Henry Sophie, Liv & Paul. And Greg ;-) I’m a romantic at heart, so I’m not ashamed to say that I love that her stories are basically all love stories of some sort. There is nothing wrong with a well written love story, is there? At least I don’t think so…
It’s amazing how Jojo Moyes manages to create these real life characters whom I can relate to and empathize with and root for. Who I want to see succeed and be happy and to overcome the obstacles life just throws at them, because life throws those at all of us every once in a while. And if they can overcome them, so can I, right? Some of those obstacles are rather sad and tragic ones, just like real life sometimes is sad and tragic and I was glad that these aspects of human life are featured in her stories. I don’t think any other author has made me cry so much and so hard as Jojo Moyes has and that truly is meant as a huge compliment.
Her wide range of times and places to set her stories in is also quite impressive. Whether it’s modern day England or post-war Australia or France in WWI, Jojo Moyes managed to bring all these times and places to life for me. Some of her novels I thought I wouldn’t be overly interested in or wouldn’t be able to enjoy that much because of when and where the story is set, particularily “The Girl You Left Behind” or “Last Letter From Your Lover”. But then I started reading anyway and just after a few pages I was wondering why I ever shied away from that story in the first place. That just happened with “The Girl You Left Behind”, so I guess “Last Letter…” should be the next on my agenda?
And last but not least, I have to praise her for those few scenes that sort of sneaked up on me and stayed with me for a while. Either because I could very much relate to this specific situation or emotion or because it just touched something deep inside me. I really have no idea how to explain it any better. That’s probably why I’m just someone writing a blog and Jojo Moyes is the one writing novels ;-)
I’m very much looking forward to reading the rest of her novels; the ones already published and any new novel she will write in the future. What can I say? 2014 turned me into a huge fan and admirer of her work.
So… thank you, Jojo for all those amazong stories and the wonderful time I had reading them.