The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

6a010536b33b69970b01a511659232970cI received this book from Penguin SA for review consideration.

The One Plus One is my first Jojo Moyes read. I feel like everyone has read at least one of her novels except me, so I started with her latest one. The One Plus One is an unconventional love story and quite an enjoyable read.

Jess Thomas is a single mother. Her husband left her two years ago with 2 kids and she is struggling to make ends meet. She works as a cleaner and has a part time job at a bar to take care of her and her children, which means she doesn’t get to spend as much time with her children as she wants to.

Tanzie, her daughter, is brilliant with numbers and excels at Math. She stands a chance to get a scholarship at a private school that Jess cannot afford. Her stepson, Nicky, is a troubled boy. He has this Goth thing going on and therefore gets bullied by the boys at his school. It gets so bad, that he ends up in hospital. Sometimes all these get too much for Jess, yet she remains positive and cheerful. One remarkable woman she is.

However, she is not without her faults.  People make mistakes and she makes one that involves one of her clients, Ed Nicholls, a rich businessman who she found to be awfully demeaning. Ed is the CEO of his own IT software company who finds himself in a predicament – in the middle of an insider trading scandal.

Jess tries to improve the life of her children and that involves getting Tanzie to go the private school that will provide her the education and opportunities to excel in life. However, she struggles financially and without the help of her father, her only option is for Tanzie to compete in a Maths Olympiad in Scotland that can win her 5000 pounds. So she and her children set out to Scotland, but they found themselves into trouble.

Ed Nicholls comes along and rescues them from the side of the road and offers to drive them to Scotland. Knowing what Jess thinks of him, this might just be the roadtrip from hell. You’re right, it sure starts out like that, with Jess, the kids and one stinky dog in Ed’s expensive car. However, it doesn’t remain that way as they all start warming up to each other, especially Jess and Ed.

This novel is packed with family dynamics and drama. The best part of the novel is definitely the characters, which are well fleshed out and they all seem to be people you can relate to.   There are romance, conflict, family drama, illnesses and struggles. It’s easy to feel sad for Jess and her kids, I sure got really frustrated and angry with how the bullies got away with hurting Nicky. Sometimes, life is so unfair, but there are always solutions, and as Jess believes, it will all work out in the end.  I enjoyed her writing style too, the story flows and there are many elements in the story that brought out emotion in me. The love story is only but one element of the story that made it so enjoyable to read and I think that is why I liked this novel. It’s more than just that – it has believable characters and a story you can really get engrossed in.

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  • I am recommending this as one of our Aug. choices for my book club. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    • I hope your book club will enjoy the read!

  • After loving Me Before You I was a bit afraid to read this one but I really enjoyed it!

    • I’m glad you did. Next Jojo Moyes read for me is definitely Me Before You!

  • I loved this book too! I’ve been avoiding Me Before You, but I think I’m going to have to break down and just get the tissues out and read it. Jojo Moyes is too good not to.

    • I’m going to have to do the same! 🙂

  • I’ve read three of her novels (Me Before You, The Girl You Left Behind, Ship of Brides) and enjoyed them all! Will add this one to my list.

  • I seem to always enjoy Moyes’ novels. Even if the premise doesn’t really do much for me, her characterization always comes through beautifully.

    • I think that’s what I liked most about this novel, too

  • Very beautifully written . The story sounds quite interesting and now it’s definitely in my reading list .

    • Thank you. I hope you’ll enjoy it

  • I loved the one Moyes book I’ve read and I’m dying to read more of her work!

  • I just finished The Girl You Left Behind and agree with you that Moyes writes believable characters in engrossing stories. I’ve liked both books I’ve read and am looking forward to this one.

    • I also want to read The Girl You Left Behind, but more so Me Before You.

      • I would agree with that order. Left Behind is good. Me Before You is great.

  • I’m looking forward to reading this one! I just discovered Jojo Moyes this year, too.

    • We are late bloomers 🙂

  • Yep, just read Me Before You and was surprisingly drawn in to the story and characters! This one sounds as good. I have Ship of Brides to read in a month or so too!

    • I haven’t heard of Ship of Brides, though. I am going to read Me Before You as well. Heading to your review…

      • I have it from NetGalley. It comes out in October.

  • I really liked this one too. That Jojo Moyes is something else. Fabulous.

  • I have heard a lot of great things about Jojo Moyes… really should pick up one of her books. Thanks for sharing.

    • Me too, especially about Me Before You!

  • Great review! I really enjoyed this book too and thought of it as a family love story. I did get a little choked up at certain parts. 🙂

    • Thank you. You’re right, definitely a family love story, I think that’s why I liked it.

  • Sounds like a great read. Lovely review. 🙂

  • I didn’t read through all the comments to see if this is your first Moyes novel, but if it is then you’re in for a treat! I haven’t read One Plus One yet but I’ve loved the two others I’ve read and it sounds like this one stacks up. .I love her ability to write characters and to pull in so many different themes to provide such depth of story. Looking forward to this one!

    • I hope you enjoy this one, Trish. It is my first Jojo Moyes read and it won’t be my last. I’m looking forward to reading Me Before You. I liked that she made the book about a range of topics and not just a straightforward love story.

  • Lisa Sheppard

    I really enjoyed this one a lot – you’re right, so much more than a love story. Except that it may be as much a story about family love so in that sense I guess it is a love story.

  • Kerry

    I have heard so many good things about Jojo Moyes books and I have one of them on my bookshelf and one on my eReader, yet I haven’t read them. I definitely must get round to trying one of them because I might be missing out on a great author. Great review 🙂