Study Guide

Mrs. Clark in Me Before You

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Mrs. Clark

Mrs. Clark can be an intense lady at times. Luckily, she channels her breakneck energy into cleaning rather than something less productive, like creating lists of her favorite Netflix shows. We could learn a thing or two from that.

Mommy Issues

All in all, Mrs. Clark seems like a pretty good mom. Lou certainly has her beefs—for one thing, she wishes that Mama Clark wouldn't put Treena up on a pedestal—but she knows that her mom has a good heart. For example, during her birthday dinner, Lou is struck by a "sudden wave of sympathy for her" knowing that "it couldn't be easy being [her] mother" (13.87).

Girl, it's hard to be anyone's mom. But we digress.

The biggest conflict Lou gets in with her mom, however, is over her decision to join Will at Dignitas. Unlike Mr. Clark, who seems to have some sympathy for the situation, Mrs. Clark is aghast that Will's parents would allow something like that to happen. This is an understandable reaction on a certain level, especially because she's thinking about what she would do in Will's parents' shoes, rather than looking at the whole thing from Will's perspective.

What is unexpected, however, is what Mrs. Clark says after Lou affirms that she really is going to Switzerland to see Will: "If you go, Louisa, you needn't come back" (26.25).

Ouch. While this is pretty harsh, it also represents a big moment in Lou's personal life. Lou has always been tied to her family in many ways, and this has prevented her from staking out her own path and following her dreams. It's surely devastating to her to hear that she can never come home again (if Mrs. Clark really means it), but it just might be exactly what she needs: a clean break.

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