The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
The One Plus One is one of those books which is instantly likeable from the off. It’s not a slow burner where you get to page 156 and think ‘yeah this book is actually alright’, it immediately hits you and leaves you unable to put the book down (or it did in my case).
I haven’t read what my mother would call ‘a nice little book’ in ages. This is a novel which doesn’t require you to be on 10 lots of Berocca or have a politics degree to understand it. I’s so heart-warming and has a lovely message.
Jess is a single mother of one and has acquired a step-son from her ‘depressed’ ex-partner. She struggles to make ends meet and divides her time between working in a pub and cleaning holiday cottages which leaves little time to see her kids, oh and Norman the dog. However she is an eternal optimist, always believing there is something better around the corner.
Ed is a high-flying City worker with a ginormous pay packet to boot. He has had little to worry about and seems to be oblivious to the real world around him. But now his wife has left him, his father is terminally ill and there’s the small matter of a jail sentence he could be facing for insider trading.
The pair first meet when Jess cleans Ed’s holiday home. She thinks he’s rude and obnoxious; he is oblivious and just sees her as his cleaner. One night when Jess takes a paralytic Ed home from the pub, he drops £500 which Jess takes, convincing herself she will pay it back.
Jess’s daughter Tanzie is a talented maths student and so the family head off to Scotland so she can take an exam, which if she passes will help pay her scholarship fees for private school. But they are soon pulled over by the police and a passing Ed offers to take the family to Aberdeen.
What follows is a hilarious and tear-jerking journey involving sleeping in a car, a dodgy kebab, dog slobber and a puking child. Jess and Ed soon grow close and realise that in fact opposites do attract but there’s still that matter of £500 to pay back.
The One Plus One is a beautifully written book and has everything you could want in a novel – romance, humour, tears and most importantly life lessons. I read the 500-page book in five days needless to say I could not put it down. I don’t think I have read a book in so long where I genuinely did not want it to finish. This is the first book by Jojo Moyes which I have read and I am definitely going to explore her backlist titles.