Author reconnects with ‘Me Before You’ heroine in new novel

British author Jojo Moyes at the European Premiere of the film ‘Me Before You’ in central London in 2016 (AFP pic)

LONDON: The British romance novelist will reunite with her beloved character of Louisa Clark for the first time since the end of her “Me Before You” trilogy.

Moyes will chronicle how her heroine is adjusting to the restrictions on everyday life during the coronavirus lockdown in a new short novel, which will be released for free on Wednesday, June 3 on the website of Penguin Books.

Subscribers to Moyes’ newsletter will have the opportunity to access the 9,000-word story early, which publisher Penguin Books described in a statement as offering “moments of escape, in the heartfelt, heart-breaking, and funny way her fans will recognise.”

Details about the short story are still scarce at this point, although Moyes told The Bookseller that she initially “didn’t have any plans to revisit Lou Clark after the end of the ‘Me Before You’ trilogy.”

“But I, like many people, have struggled my way through this pandemic, and it gradually occurred to me that writing about how Lou and her family coped with lockdown would be the perfect way to bring a bit of cheer to those readers who loved her, during a tricky few months for all of us.

“She made me laugh and smile (and even well up a little) while I worked on this story, and I hope very much that you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it,” she added.

Moyes first introduced Louisa Clark in her 2012 bestseller “Me Before You,” in which the 26-year-old working-class girl lands a position as a care assistant to a wealthy, quadriplegic 35-year-old man named Will Traynor.

“Me Before You” has reportedly sold over 14 million copies worldwide and was adapted for the big screen in 2016 with “Games of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke portraying Louisa Clark and “The Hunger Games” actor Sam Claflin taking on the role of Will Traynor.

In addition to continuing the story of Louisa Clark in a new short story, Moyes has recently written an essay about her life during the pandemic for Penguin’s “Perspectives” series.

Penguin authors Julia Samuel, Malorie Blackman, Seth Godin and Jung Chang have also offered their response to the Covid-19 crisis in the initiative, which ran until the end of May.

Additionally, Penguin Books announced that a donation of £10,000 towards booksellers financially affected by the pandemic have been made on behalf of the participating authors.