Earlier this year, I was one of many who fell under the spell of Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You. I cried my eyes out at tragic, yet somehow still uplifting, love story. And I loved Moyes’ familiar, comforting writing style. Conversational and realistic. I was a big fan.
One Plus One is Jojo’s new book. And while the book doesn’t have the same emotional punch as Me Before You, I still recommend it. I mean, come on. We can’t cry about everything.
Jess is a single mom in Southern England, struggling to get by. Her husband took off two years ago, moving in with his mother, and unable to pay child support. She works as a house cleaner and a bartender, but she never seems to have enough money at the end of the day. Her step-son is constantly being bullied, and his medical bills are starting to add up. And it turns out that her daughter is a mathematical genius, and has been offered a spot at a local, prestigious, private school. But of course the tuition is far more than Jess can swing on her own.
Ed is a computer genius, who has made a lot of money over the past few years. His new software is about to launch, potentially putting Ed in place to make a lot more money. Until a bad relationships turns on him, and he finds himself in deep legal trouble, accused of insider trading. Ed could lose everything, so to drop out of sight for a while, he leaves London for his beach house.
Where of course, he crosses paths with Jess.
Yes, of course, this is an “opposites attract” sort of story. But there’s more to it than that.
There were some really tough bits in here. Major instances of bullying, attempted rape, cancer, and a sick dog. But that doesn’t mean the book is a wholly depressing one. Moyes writes smart characters, and she writes realistic scenes from life, oftentimes filled with humor. And a smelly dog. And while I didn’t break down in tears this time, I found myself wiping my eyes once or twice in the last few chapters.
I still haven’t read her two other books, but clearly, I need to.