Jess is a single mum, who works cleaning the homes of those much more fortunate than her. Some of her clients are barely there, including Ed Nicholls, who she thinks has more money than sense. Some weeks she can barely make ends meet. When her daughter, Tanzie, is offered an amazing opportunity at a private school, Jess knows she can’t afford it but wants to do everything in her power to get her there.
I read The One Plus One a while ago and made the mistake of not writing down my thoughts, but what I do know is that it left a warm and fuzzy feeling behind. Now that’s quite a change from some of Jojo Moyes’ other books, which have left me destroyed (you know what I’m talking about).
As the story unfolds, Jess finds herself with her two children and smelly dog being given a lift up to Scotland by Ed. A man she may have stolen some money from; only because it had fallen out of his pocket when drunk. If he was careless enough not to notice so much cash gone missing, she reckons it won’t hurt. And she really needs it for Tanzie. The ensuing road trip is full of humour, and dog farts. Oh I so loved the doggy character of Norman.
It feels like an incredibly topical book; about a fairly normal family who have to constantly worry about money. Ed is facing financial ruin himself but he has always been comfortable and the difference between their attitudes is eye opening. He will just buy a sandwich, she will buy the cheapest ingredients she can find and eat them in the car. He will pay for a room, she will sleep in the car overnight.
Nicky, the teenage boy, is a fascinating character too. His evolution from surly teenage to someone who does the most amazing thing is wonderful. Of course Jess gets frustrated with him, and he with her. All the characters were amazingly real, even if the whole lift to Scotland thing was a bit far-fetched.
The One Plus One is published by Penguin and will be available in hardback and ebook editions from 27th February 2014. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.