First up, this haunting, beautiful book, Me before You, by JoJo Moyes. The writing is beautiful, the story is excellent, the characters are varied and real. And for me best of all there is a real problem a the center: when is life not worth living? Does a very terminal, very physically challenged person have a right to decide that? Does community decide? And what about the economics of the situation? And what about love? How can you love someone who doesn’t want to live, how do you handle that?These two unlikely people are in a very odd relationship and of course other people are involved in the situation. It is a messy situation. This book made me laugh, cry, and really think — I have no answers. Every character ends this novel different from how it began.
So oddly the next book I read was Lock In by John Scalzi — what if a terrible disease swept the world and left some percent of the victims completely paralyzed, completely trapped — “locked in” — their bodies? What if technology came up with robots that they could transfer their minds to? Robots/androids so good that they could have jobs, good or bad, be like anyone nearly; they could be a part of society? This science fiction novel is exciting, fast-pace, completely enjoyable, but at the core of it is, again, what makes life worth living? Who decides? What are the economics? Do the poor always lose? And in this book, what if there was a cure and the people could then live without the android/robot bodies but with terrible physical problems?
Thank goodness for gift of story!