One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger. One irresistible love story from the New York Timesbestselling author of Me Before You
Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever.
Jojo Moyes is a British novelist.
Moyes studied at Royal Holloway, University of London. She won a bursary financed by The Independent newspaper to study journalism at City University and subsequently worked for The Independent for 10 years. In 2001 she became a full time novelist.
Moyes’ novel Foreign Fruit won the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) Romantic Novel of the Year in 2004.
She is married to journalist Charles Arthur and has three children.
One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Jojo Moyes does it to me everytime… I shouldn’t be surprised by this point… but I still am.
I knew this book would hit particularly close to home on certain parts of the story, and I was right.
Jess has been struggling to make ends meet for most of her life. Her husband has left for his mom’s house, her teenage stepson is being bullied by neighbor kids, her daughter who is a genius at math has an opportunity that only arrives once in a lifetime and she doesn’t know how she will make it work. Working two jobs just to provide what she can for her kids has taken the life out of her… but she still manages to be optimistic about things.
When Ed appears on the side of the road to rescue her, her kids, and her stinky dog she is hesitant to accept his help… but she does. And what should be just a simple road trip to a math competition ultimately turns into something much, much more.
This book you guys. If there is one thing that I had to say that Moyes does so amazingly well with each of her books, for me, it would have to be the characters she creates. They jump off the page and have such real and honest characterizations and reactions and lives that you can’t help but feel parts of their stories resonate with you on a personal level.
Ed and Jess live such completely opposite lives and Moyes shows us that from the very beginning.
Ed’s life of privilege makes things easier and he doesn’t think twice about spending money on whatever he needs or wants but now he’s in a bit of a jam and he isn’t sure there is any way around paying the consequences of his actions. Jess can’t imagine a life in which she doesn’t struggle to pay the bills, feed the kids and protect her children. She has to budget every single dollar and scrimp and save and god forbid an emergency happens… well she just has to find a way to make it work. With no help from her dead-beat husband, it’s a struggle that is all too familiar.
It sounds a bit sad right? But ultimately this is a story about falling in love, only it’s so much more than that. Moyes once again explores family dynamics and drama, the anxiety children feel at disappointing their parents and the anxiety parents feel at not being able to provide the lives they wish they could for their children… as well as taking responsibility for our actions and the consequences that those actions bring.
Trapping these four very different people in a car with a stinky dog was an amazing way to delve into relationships and finding common ground. But I think what I loved most was the idea that a family isn’t a one-size fits all kind of thing, and though we may struggle at different points in our lives, we hopefully won’t struggle forever.
While there wasn’t any ugly crying this time around, I still found myself sitting with a box of Kleenex trying to work through my feelings about this story. I found that I wasn’t as enthralled with these characters as I maybe was with some of her others, but I loved them just the same… and I can’t possibly give this story any less than 5 stars because she got every piece of it right in my heart and mind. The emotions, the struggles, the love and the drama… it’s all spot-on and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
Thank you so so much to Penguin for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.