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Book Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Making time to read a book when you have two young children and a husband to satisfy can be a tall order. I can’t honestly remember the last time I read a book cover to cover but it was definitely pre-children and that’s at least 4 years ago. ‘The New Contented Little Baby Book’ by Gina Ford doesn’t really count and to be honest neither of my children really fit her routines but that’s a whole other book review.

At the beginning of 2013 I decided that I was going to read a minimum of four books in the year. Now I know that doesn’t sound like a lot but I wanted this to be a New Year’s resolution that I could actually achieve.

The question was, what book should I read first to wet my appetite for reading? Quite often there is a post on Wokingham Gossip Girls for book recommendations and one book kept coming up time and again, ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes. To be honest, I didn’t know the subject matter before reading the book but was prepared for a romantic weepy.

Me before you

In an nutshell, the book is a girl meets boy story but with a lot more depth and intrigue and an ending that will leave you heartbroken. The story starts with Louisa Clark (Lou) losing her job in a café. She has limited qualifications so when she heads down to the Job Centre, she is offered various positions which for one reason or another are unsuitable. Finally her advisor recommends a job as a care assistant and although reluctant, she is eventually hired as a carer for Will Traynor who became a quadraplegic after a road accident two years previously. What Lou doesn’t know is that Will has told his parents that in 6 months time he is to end his life at Dignatus. His quality of life is poor and he is a shadow of his former self. His natural instinct is to push people away and despite his best efforts, Lou is undeterred. When she learns of his plan she sets out to prove that life is still worth living and in the process falls in love with him.

This book kept me on the edge of my seat throughout and made me question my own views on euthanasia. A thoroughly good read, beautifully and sensitively written which I would highly recommend.

What books would you recommend?

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Slow cookers in vogue?

I’m not usually a follower of fashion but it would seem with my latest purchase that I might just be on trend this time, at least amongst the yummy mummy brigade. I have purchased a slow cooker . I was motivated to buy one on two grounds. At some point I will have to return to paid employment and I’m pretty sure learning how to use a slow cooker will not be high on the priority list then and secondly, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to cook at least one new dish a month. I’ve managed to cook two new dishes in the last two weeks (see below); does that mean I can have a month off?

On reflection however (isn’t hindsight a great thing?), I should have researched my purchase better and having now activated the on switch on my slow cooker, I have had two thoughts. 1. It could do with being a bit bigger. I can only really feed our family of four with the volume I selected and 2. I should have purchased one with a timer switch (my husband, the problem solver, assures me that we can buy a timer like you do for lights that should do the job.). So, I am considering whether to throw my current model on the buy and sell sites and make a loss and buy one that does exactly what I want, or to carry on with what I have which does the job.

Anyway, to accompany my slow cooker, I also purchased ‘Hamlyn All Colour Cookbooks 200 Slow Cooker Recipes’, an invaluable resource for the novice slow cooker user. So far I have cooked the ‘beef and root vegetable hotpot’ and the ‘ham in cola’ and was pretty pleased with both (pictures below). I do have a small ‘beef’ with the ham dish though. The sauce is very salty and the smell (which in my opinion is pretty vile – pregnant ladies with sensitive sniffers beware!), radiates throughout the whole house for days. That said, the ham itself was delicious. Anyone have any other recipes I could try? Please post below!

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