Study Guide

Me Before You Chapter 1

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Chapter 1


  • We're following a lady named Lou Clark as she counts the steps between her house and the bus stop. Must be the life of the party, this one.
  • Behind her sits Stortford Castle, which seems to be an important locale in her life story. She seems to have spent her whole life here—wherever here is.
  • Lou enters her home to find her dad "facedown on the sofa" (1.1). He's looking for some Legos helpfully stuffed into the cushions by Lou's five-year-old nephew, Thomas.
  • Lou's mom is upstairs ironing clothes. Mrs. Clark is known for a relentless energy that's typically channeled into cleaning.
  • Mr. Clark asks Lou why she's home so early, but she ignores him and walks into the kitchen, where she pours a glass of water for her grandpa. Grandpa isn't able to do much for himself since having several strokes a few years back.
  • Mrs. Clark asks Lou about her upcoming vacay with her boyfriend, Patrick, but Lou's head is off in space. Finally, she comes clean: she just lost her job.
  • Lou's boss, Frank, is shutting down his café tomorrow to return to his native Australia and take care of his ailing pops. Luckily, he's giving Lou three months' pay.
  • Lou describes the café, explaining that she loves working there because of all of the life she's able to observe. She's worked there for six years.
  • Lou's parents are freaking out because they rely on her wages to survive. Lou's little sister, Treena, makes next to nothing at a local flower shop, while Mr. Clark is worried that he's about to be laid off. Bad news.
  • Lou decides to head to the job center the following day.
  • Later that night, Lou visits her boyfriend at the gym. He makes her run beside him on the track to have a conversation.
  • Patrick tells Lou that losing her job might be a good thing because it will help her re-orient her life. He also tells her that he'll pay for the vacation, though he adds that he expects her to pay him back once she's found a job.
  • What a keeper.
  • Lou visits the job center, where she's given a stipend as long as she's actively looking for and accepting job offers. She spends time at a chicken-processing factory and fast-food restaurant, which doesn't bode well for her prospects.
  • The supervisor even suggests that Lou start stripping. For real, dude?
  • The supervisor does have one other offer, however. There's a "care assistant position" with a disabled man, which actually pays quite well (1.131).
  • Assuming that the client is an old man, Lou immediately recoils. Still, she has no other choice and accepts the invitation to a job interview.

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