Publication Date: 26th February 2014
Book Source: Penguin Books Aust & NetGalley
Synopsis: Suppose your life sucks. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your stepson is being bullied and your daughter has a once in a lifetime opportunity . . . that you can't afford to pay for.
So imagine you found and kept some money that didn't belong to you, knowing it would pay for your daughter's happiness.
But how do you cope with the shame? Especially when the man you've lied to decides to help you out in your hour of need . . .
Jess is in hell - Ed has saved her family - but is their happiness worth a lifetime's soul-searching?
I was introduced to Jojo Moyes with Me Before You. The One Plus One took my Jojo Moyes love to a whole new level. Maybe it's as simple as right-book-right-time ... you know the kind? I loved it and I'm not even sure I can put into words why, it just spoke to me.
Jess is a single mum with two jobs, doing it really tough, struggling daily to make ends meet. There's her kids, 8 year old maths prodigy Tanzie and bullied teenage stepson Nicky and let's not forget Norman, smelly, slobbering, loyal Norman. I adored Norman.
Then there's Ed, wealthy, privileged businessman facing financial ruin, his life in the toilet.
Fast forward ...
Ed and one luxury car plus Jess, two kids and big, stinky dog on a road trip to Aberdeen, Scotland for Tanzie to participate in a maths tournament which will hopefully change her life. Barfing, dog farts, dry sandwiches, awkward silences, unlikely bonds, shared secrets, it's a disaster of monumental proportions that had me alternatively laughing and holding back tears.
Given the very topical social issues and the Thomas family's sorrows and trials you'd think this would be a depressing story but far from it, it's uplifting without being cliched. I'm sure due in part to Jess's almost unfailing positive outlook and Jojo Moyes' beautifully poetic writing.
I cried ... ok I might have sobbed; I'm a sucker for big, smelly doggy hero's like Norman. The One Plus One encompasses the meaning of family and belonging, it's a story of love, resilience, determination and second chances.
A favourite this year :)
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