I DON'T like things that make me cry. I might be one of the few inhabitants of the world that never watched Titanic. I knew it would upset me, so I just avoided seeing it. I wasn't always like that. I was fine watching disaster movies and I didn't mind if I came out of the cinema weeping, but something changed. Maybe an awareness of mortality, a strong love for partner and kids so that the thought of something happening to them, as it did in a film, was too much to bear.
So stands to sense that if I don't go to see sad films, then I don't read sad books. Of course, I don't mind 'happy' sadness or the odd little scene where a minor character dies and I shed a tear, but full-on sad books - no, I don't want to read them.
Husband bought 'Me before you' by Jojo Moyes - home from his shopping trip. I'd read the blurb in the shop and put it back. I feared it wouldn't be happy. Since he'd bought it, I read it, but I was right. Oh gosh, it made me sob.
Will Traynor is paralysed from the neck down in an accident and wants to die. He gives his family six months to 'change' his mind and a carer - Lou - comes into his life. Lou falls for Will. So it is a romance but not as we know it, Jim. It's a story about family, friends, the way the able bodied treat the disabled, it's a story about love and hard decisions and I'm crying even as I type this.
You have to go into this book with your eyes and heart wide open. I wish in many ways, I hadn't read it. I didn't need to. I already know a family whose son was injured in a sports accident and left paralysed from the neck down. I know how hard his parents fought for him. Sadly, he died in hospital during an operation. Maybe because I've had that experience, it made the book more poignant, I don't know. But it was a compulsive read. I started it last night, finished it this morning. Yes, the ending was sad - but it was the perfect ending and it did finish with hope.