One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

Release Date - July 1, 2014

Jojo Moyes
Pamela Dorman Books

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Jojo Moyes burst onto the U.S. bestseller charts with her poignant Me Before You. I'd heard of the book, but I haven't read it. Therefore One Plus One is my introduction to Jojo Moyes writing. What an introduction it was!

Jess is the mother to a math-whiz daughter, step-mom to a boy whose mother and father both abandoned him, and barely scraping to get by working as a bartender by night and cleaning houses by day. When her daughter is given the chance to attend a private school, Jess is told she just needs to come up with the other 10 percent of the tuition. Jess's ex balks saying he is still struggling to find work, so that leaves her to come up with the money by herself. A once-in-a-lifetime math Olympiad contest comes up, but Jess must get her daughter to Scotland in a matter of days. With no car and no money, that isn't as easy as it seems.

Enter Ed. He's a business owner, comfortably wealthy, but dealing with  an insider trading scandal. The last thing he wants is to trek across the U.K. with two kids, a smelly dog, and a woman he hardly knows. Yet, that's exactly what he agrees to do, and it's a choice that might save him.

Hands down, this is a book I will read, read again, and then re-read yearly. Jess has it hard. Her kids also have it hard no thanks to a neighborhood bully. Ed is the character I least expected to like, yet I found myself enamored. By the time, I was involved in all of their lives, I did not want to put the book down. Actually, I didn't put the book down, and that led to a very long night and little sleep.

One Plus One is told from the viewpoint of Jess, Ed, and both children. It gave excellent insight into everyone's fears and hopes. I laughed with them, shed a number of tears, and when it was over, I felt like I was leaving friends behind Bottom line is this book is one for the keeper shelf, and I'm heading to my library to see if her other books are available.


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