Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She steps into the world of the superrich, working for Leonard Gopnik and his much younger second wife, Agnes. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her new job and New York life.
As she begins to mix in New York high society, Lou meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. Before long, Lou finds herself torn between Fifth Avenue where she works and the treasure-filled vintage clothing store where she actually feels at home. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself: Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you find the courage to follow your heart–wherever that may lead?
Funny, romantic, and poignant, Still Me follows Lou as she discovers who she is and who she was always meant to be–and to live boldly in her brave new world.
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Jojo Moyes writing and recently I’ve been on a roll as I’ve read The Giver of Stars, After You and now Still Me. As far as I know this is the final instalment in Lou’s story and I thought it was the perfect way to say goodbye to such a vibrant and fun character whilst also packing an emotional punch and some life lessons as always. Plus plenty of romantic entanglements and misadventures, would it be Lou without some of these?
The novel focuses on Lou as she moves to New York as part of an exciting new job opportunity, working with the uber rich Gopnik family, who have secrets of their own. As well as being thrust into the world of the upper East side, going to banquets and fundraisers in dazzling ballgowns and meeting a dashing stranger who reminds her of someone she loved, Lou navigates a long distance relationship with Sam, the handsome paramedic.
While the first novel is all about Lou and Will, and their moving love story, and the sequel is about her learning how to live a life without him, Still Me is about Lou finding herself. I liked the journey she goes on within the novel, from finding her feet in a whole new city and settling into a new job and finding that she’s really good at it. It was nice to read as she felt capable and intelligent, in comparison to the last book where she felt utterly lost and at odds. I feel like where she ends up at the conclusion of the novel feels perfect for her and she’s able to do just what Will wanted for her, to ‘just live’.
Speaking of Will, I loved the little snippets we got of his time in New York through some old letters which Wills mother sends to Lou. While I definitely still felt his absence, it felt less glaringly obvious than in the previous novel and there was a greater sense of closure for the character which was nice. I also liked that Lou reminisces and retraces his steps in the city, it was a nice little homage to him and it makes you wonder about the possibilities they could have had together, a tad bittersweet but still nice.
In terms of the romance element, I enjoyed the dynamic between Lou and Sam way more in this novel than I did in the previous instalment. I feel like that’s kind of a recurring theme within this review, where I loved this one way more and it just clicked with me in a different way. While there were definitely some frustrating moments in terms of Sam and his inability to communicate, I liked the resolution we did get and the way Lou puts herself out there. If there’s ever a film adaptation, these scenes would be so great, Emilia Clarke is Lou for me now so I’d love to see her get to portray her once or twice more!
While at first I liked the whole element of the Gopniks and the glitz and glam this brought into the novel, but eventually it just got to the point where I disliked both Leonard and Agnes. Agnes especially was so duplicitous and while I understood her position, I still think letting Lou take the fall for something later on in the novel, just ruined her character for me. I guess this also speaks to the way that on the surface you can have it all but still be deeply unhappy, which the Gopniks at times, display.
Overall, Still Me was a satisfying and involving read and a great conclusion for Lou’s story. I loved how the story left off and while there’s room for more, I’d be happy if this really was the end of the road. I would recommend this to fans of Moyes and readers who are into the romance genre, with a strong focus on a quirky female lead.
Until next time,