The One Plus One – Jojo Moyes

Jojo Moyes sprang into pop culture consciousness in a big way this year (well, bigger than before, anyway!) with the film adaptation of her book Me Before You – and having read both this and her follow up, After You, I was more than interested to read more of her works. And I have to say, as much as I loved Me Before YouThe One Plus One is quite my favourite of hers that I’ve read so far!

A truly absorbing story, and not nearly as controversial as the other two, I finished this in one day because it suckered me in so quickly. Although the story is basically a rom-com, the characters are so well drawn and the narrative so wonderfully pulled together that there’s much more to it than a simple will-they-won’t-they. Jess, a single mum of two, is pretty much at the end of her tether along with the end of her resources. Ed, a professional tech whiz, has made a huge mistake and is now facing the possible end of his career. Take them, a bullied teenage stepson, a young mathematical prodigy daughter, and the world’s laziest, smelliest dog, and stick them in a car for several days – and you have the basic set up for The One Plus One.

There’s not too much more to say about it without giving away spoilers, so here are some things I liked about the book:

  1. Tanzie, the youngest, is a maths genius. I like her approach to maths – numbers are more predictable than people. I am not a maths genius, but I agree with this assessment wholeheartedly.
  2. I have massive appreciation for stories that are about people rather than a glorified meet-cute; the book looks at bullying, private vs. public schooling, diversity, poverty, and what it means to be a family (I guess this last has been a theme in my recent reads!).
  3. I would hate to be stuck in a car going 40mph for hours – no, days – at a time. I think I even felt some sympathy carsickness at some points. Urgh.
  4. It’s a surprise weepy. Have a box of tissues handy.

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