Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

It is no secret that I am a Jojo Moyes fan. It was when I first picked up Me Before You, a novel that broke my heart in every way possible, that made me adore this master piece of a story. Moyes has a lightness of touch in her writing, as if she writes in nothing but homemade rock buns and knitted jerseys - comfortable and lush.

The One Plus One is the story of a single mother (Jess) trying, or should I say battling, to keep her family afloat. She has a step-son who is being bullied, a mathematical genius for a daughter, a dog and a sleaze-bag husband who has done a runner. She tries her best to keep everyone going, working two jobs as a cleaner by day and a waitress by night, she is constantly washing, cleaning and mothering.

Then we have Ed, a nerdy businessman who stumbled on his fortune 500 company, but would much rather be back in the 'old days' creating than actually being a CEO. When Ed is surrounded in controversy involving a slightly underhanded woman and a seedy affair. 

Moyes creates a perfect set up for these two characters to crash together, because Jess cleans Ed's house, but this isn't where their story begins. When Jess's car breaks down on the way to Tanzie's (her daughter) mathematics Olympiad, one that will gain her entry into a school that Jess cannot afford, on full scholarship, and so arrives Ed, not in the knight in shining armour type of way, but by pure happenstance - who agrees to take Jess and her family to the Olympiad. So begins the journey of this very odd and motley crew, discovering and learning, but with a hint of emotion. Each learning more about each other the closer they get to their destination.

This is where we see Moyes's pure skill, and motherly care for her characters. She gives them the idiosyncrasies, the mood swings, the arbitrary quirks and holds them out for you to lap up.

Now, let the gushing end - I didn't think this was Moyes' best work. Perhaps, I gave too much of myself to Me Before You and with it lost so much more; that is not to say that Moyes lost her touch with this novel, to say the least, she certainly didnt. I still couldn't help feeling irritated, rolling my eyes and 'ugh'-ing about, but perhaps that is the point. I finished the novel, not regretting one bit that it had taken me two days to finish, but I felt like something was missing, perhaps I expected too much and didn't just let Moyes work her magic in her own way. Still one to add to your Moyes collection.

This is a perfect on for the long weekend ahead...

Happy Reading.


Melinda said...

I have this book and haven't read it yet. I think that per your review I'll probably enjoy it. It will be my first Jojo Moyes read :)

Teena in Toronto said...

I finished it last night and liked it.

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