After enjoying The Last Letter to Your Lover and Me Before You my expectations for One Plus One were moderate. Little did I know that I would be blown away by One Plus One, left crying for the last 1/3 of the book, and then closing the last page with a sigh of deep satisfaction. Jojo Moyes is getting better and better. Her novels are not formulaic making Moyes truly an author to follow.
In One Plus One, Jess is a single mother to math whiz Tanzie and her goth teenage step-son Nicky. Her ex-husband has gone home to his Mommy leaving Jess caring for and single-handedly supporting their daughter and his son. Jess works two jobs just to make ends meet. Tanzie is offered an unprecedented scholarship to an elite boarding school but Jess cannot afford the measly 10% she would have to kick in unless Tanzie wins the cash prize at the Math Olympiad. To make matters even worse, Nicky is horribly bullied and roughed up on a regular basis by the Fisher bullies.
Ed Nichols is a brilliant tech millionaire for whom Jess cleans house. Ed has problems of his own that are just as serious as Jess’ just on a different scale. The difference between the two is that Jess is a consummate optimist while Ed is stuck in “me, me, me” mode. When Ed uncharacteristically offers to drive Jess, Nicky, Tanzie and their big lug of a dog Norman to the Math Olympiad for Tanzie’s big chance, all of their lives are changed in ways they never would have imagined.
With One Plus One, I laughed, I cringed, I cried. . .and then I did all three at the same time! The characters are unique and yet most anyone can relate in some small way to at least one of the lively bunch. For me, it was Jess. Having been that single mom desperately trying to make ends meet, wanting my brilliant kids to have every chance in the world to thrive and yet having to make do with very little resources is tough to say the least. Staying optimistic is difficult yet essential for the health and well-being of mom and kids and Jess is clearly a poster child for optimism.
This is a feel-good read that should not be missed. If you liked Where’d You Go, Bernadette, A Grown-Up Kind-of Pretty or The Husband’s Secret then you will love One Plus One!
Have you read any of JoJo Moyes novels? Do you have a favorite?
I received this book for free from complimentary review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.