The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

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The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

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Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: A single mum meets a single man but this is more than a love story. Family drama and animal antics abound in this brilliant read that you won't want to put down.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 528 Date: February 2014
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 978-1405915571

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Jess is a single mum of a rather smart little girl. She’s also single step mum, if there’s such a thing, to a rather troubled teenage boy. This is the story of this unusual but endearing family of three, and a road trip to the other end of the country, showing that even with few resources, mums will go to the ends of the earth for their children. It’s also the story of Ed, a wealthy businessman whose life interacts with theirs in an unconventional way. A single mum meets a single man, but in an unpredictable way.

I was a little sceptical at first because of how different their backgrounds are, but the author managed to solve this by making failure Jess a success, and successful Ed a failure, so they sort of met in the middle. I’m not entirely sure Jess would be representative of all women in her situation, but she had traits that appealed to the types of women who would read this book, and so you warmed to her. The children were also stand out characters, and you could see why a bunch of strangers wanted to help Nicky, and why Tanzie’s future pretty much was the only thing that mattered. I was less convinced by their father and didn’t feel his presence added much other than to confirm Jess’s original view that he was pretty much a waste of space.

The book starts on the south coast and then rather rapidly leaves here, headed for Scotland. I wasn’t expecting quite so much of the story to be the (mis)adventures of the road trip, and kept waiting for them to get there and the story to take on a more normal setting, but on reflection I liked the unusual scenery, especially with the addition of Norman tagging along for the ride to liven things up. Tanzie’s travel sickness seemed a tad too convenient a way to drag out the trip, but otherwise I enjoyed it with all its detours and drama along the way.

I wanted a big long book to take on holiday but I wasn’t sure whether I’d be better off with two shorter ones, when it came down to it. I’m not a fan of fiction that goes on for twice as long as other titles. Is there really that much to tell in one story? This book surprised me by keeping me hooked to the last of its over 500 pages and when I finished it, quite handily thirty minutes from landing on my return flight, I felt unusually satisfied. This was what books should be: funny, entertaining, real and, most of all, a real page turner despite the lack of a whodunit element.

I can’t pinpoint exactly why I enjoyed this book so much, beyond the reasons above, because I’ve read many books those words could apply to and yet for some reason this one was better. It was just more of everything – more amusing, more heart-warming, more relatable – and for those reasons alone it comes highly recommended.

Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this brilliant book.

I've not read the book, but the first line of our review of The Last Letter From Your Lover makes me think it's not dissimilar and one I'd also enjoy. Night Music sounds good too.

Buy The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes at

Buy The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes at

Booklists.jpg The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes is in the Top Ten Women's Fiction Books 2014.


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