If you haven’t read Me Before You and After You, it might be a good idea to skip this review. Read those two books first before you pick up a copy of Still Me. The entire series is an excellent reading adventure. Still Me (June Book Review) will be the focus of this post.
I love stepping into the last book of a series. There is something special about taking a long journey with an author through the pages of a series, especially if they can tell a story as compelling as Jo Jo Moyes. That is why I chose Still Me id my book review for June. I found this story a wonderful addition to the two that came before in the series.
Quick Synopsis of Still Me (June Book Review)
Louisa Clark travels to New York City to start her new job working for the wealthy Gopnik family. Leonard comes from old money. His new wife Agnes requires a personal secretary who is skilled at working with people suffering from depression. Agnes is a woman with many secrets. Louisa attempts to juggle her new responsibilities with her long-distance relationship with her ambulance driver Sam.
Louisa finds herself homeless and jobless in New York City. The situation is the result of a betrayal. Her relationship with Sam ends when she goes home to England for Christmas to discover Sam has a secret of his own.
Things turn around when she helps her former neighbor, Margot De Witt, rescuing her and her tiny dog Dean Martin. De Witt needs her help and provides a place for her to live while she figures out what she wants out of life. She begins a relationship with a man named Joshua Ryan, who looks a lot like Will. He was the man who started her on the path of self-discovery.
Louisa’s year in New York is almost up. Will she go back to London or stay in New York and start her career in the clothing industry? To learn the answer to that question, you have to read the book. I promise the ending is very satisfying.
Highlights I discovered in Still Me (June Book Review)
I found so many highlights in this book; it is hard to pinpoint just a few. I discovered the story in this book fascinating. The first highlight for me was when Louisa attended the Neil and Florence Strager Charitable Foundation Dinner. This event was Louisa’s first introduction to New York society. All the participants were required to dress in yellow. She attended as a friend of her employer. It is also where she met Joshua Ryan.
Another highlight of the book is when she discovers Dean martin standing unattended in front of the building. Louisa knows Mrs. De Witt would never allow the dog to wander around while not on a leash. So she goes upstairs to find the apartment door standing open and the older woman lying on the ground. This section of the book is important because the things the protagonist does next changes her entire life.
I also want to mention the last two chapters are sensational. I won’t go into detail, but I will say the ending came to a satisfying conclusion.
Story development in Still Me (June Book Review)
I love the way Moyes takes her reader on a rollercoaster ride filled with emotion. Then, about the time you think you have how Louisa’s life will unfold figured out, Moyes throws in a new twist. The story takes you through a journey of self-discovery when Louisa has to make some hard choices about following her dreams. You aren’t certain if she will remain in New York or go back to London until the very end. I became drawn into the story, rooting for Louisa all the way.
Worldbuilding found in Still Me
My son lives in New York City. We have been there to visit several times. In fact, he lived in Washington Heights when he first moved to the city. There are scenes from the book which take place at a library there. I thought Moyes did a great job creating a New York City feel in this book. I could picture the streets Louisa walked down and the places she traveled to during her stay.
I have never been to England, but Moyes created a stark difference between the two worlds Louisa travels in. When Louisa goes home to visit for Christmas, you can feel the location change. The English world has been created in the two previous books to perfection. It is easy to climb back into this comfort zone.
Evaluation of the characters in Still Me
Jo Jo Moyes is a master at character development. The reader will be familiar with the London cast of characters if they read the first two books in the series. Rediscovering them in the pages of Still Me is like meeting up with old friends you haven’t seen for a while. It’s like catching up with what’s happened in their life since you last spoke.
The character development I found fascinating in this book became the introduction of the people Louisa encountered in New York City. The Gopniks, Leonard and Agnes, top the list. The reader couldn’t help but feel sorry for these upper-class people who lived a self-centered life of privilege and delusion. Agnes is a woman who harbors many secrets. They use their staff as tools. Their employees are disposable if the situation requires. The housekeeper and cook, Ilaria, appears to be a grumpy older woman when the reader is first introduced to her. However, when the situation turns ugly, she becomes one of Louisa’s biggest supporters.
The character I found intriguing is Margot De Witt. She has a backstory that is both interesting and brilliantly told. The relationship that develops between her and Louisa is a pivotal point of the book. Even her little dog, Dean Martin, shines in the latter part of the story.
Overall opinion of Still Me (June Book Review)
If you couldn’t tell, I became mesmerized by this story. Louisa Clark is one of my favorite literary characters. She sometimes jumps off the deep end, but she always manages to find a way to swim through the high waters. Moyes wrote this final story in the series with skill and brilliance. I found the ending satisfactory. It left me wondering if maybe there is a possibility for a fourth book in the series. I would put it at the top of my reading list if an addition to the Louisa Clark story became a reality.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
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