Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The One Plus One

The One Plus One is the eagerly anticipated novel from Jojo Moyes of best-selling Me Before You and The Girl You Left Behind fame. It tells the story of single mum Jess, who is trying to hold down two jobs as well as bringing up two demanding children. Her young daughter Tanzie is a maths genius well ahead of her years, but is teased at the local school and is invited to join a local private school so that she can take her GCSE and A Level maths earlier. Although it is mostly funded, Jess still needs to find a few thousand pounds for Tanzie to finally be happy. Nicky is Jess' teenage stepson who is going through a difficult time at school as he is different to all of the other boys - being more sensitive and wearing only black and make-up. He is regularly attacked and Jess is feeling helpless as she is away from home working during the day and evenings. Oh, and there is also a lovable, flatulent dog called Norman!

While at her cleaning job one day, Jess is insulted by a rich client called Ed Nicholls and later has to assist him home drunk while working at the local pub. It turns out that he has some major problems too, and when Tanzie is offered the opportunity of winning a huge cash prize at a Maths Olympiad in Scotland, Ed somehow feels compelled to offer to drive this quirky family across the country with hilarious, moving and heart-warming experiences along the way.

I absolutely loved this book and couldn't put it down, reading it all in one weekend. The characters felt so genuine and there is plenty of heart. Jojo Moyes picks up on the everyday struggles of most families who work hard, but don't seem to reap the benefits. Each chapter is told from the different character's viewpoints and I particularly enjoyed Nicky's entries as he became more confident in himself. The One Plus One is going to be huge - expect to see this in the best-selling charts for months to come!   

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