I just finished ONE PLUS ONE by Jojo Moyes. I absolutely loved it!
It’s really difficult to write about a serious subject, yet make it ring with laughter. Moyes is just about the only author writing today who is the master of this.
Jess Thomas is living alone with her teenage step-son and her daughter when the story begins. Her ” arsehole” of a husband has been gone for two years. Still, Jess, good person that she is, still awaits his return. She’s working two jobs and still not able to make ends meet. Her step-son is Goth boy. He’s being bullied up one side and down the other by the Fisher kids in the neighborhood. Her young daughter is a math wizard whose shadow is her lug of a dog named Norman.
When Jess’s daughter is given a once in a lifetime chance at a stupendous prize, off the family go on a journey like no other. You see, Jess has forgotten how to drive, and the car they take off in has been moldering away in their garage and is full of cobwebs. It belongs to her lost husband. It’s a Rolls Royce, albeit one that is in horrible shape. Finding themselves quickly on the side of the road and in big trouble, their night in shining armor appears seemingly from nowhere: Ed.
Ed Nichols is a brilliant tech millionaire whose life is not quite so bright at the moment. In fact, it’s coming apart at the seams, and then some. He’s gotten himself involved in what is called “insider trading.”
Jess is part of a cleaning company who has been cleaning Ed’s condo. So when he sees her on the side of the road, he pulls over to see what’s up. When he discovers that they are on their way to Scotland for Tanzie (the daughter) to take part in the Maths Olympiad, he offers to drive them. Little does he know he will be forced to drive at the speed of a turtle because Tanzie gets car sick when you drive over 40 mph. And he also had no idea Norman the dog was so flatulent. And this is not even the half of it.
There is a scene where they are driving in the countryside and come upon a herd of cattle. The cattle are being moved down the middle of the road by the farmer. And they are not stopping for cars. When they encounter the Audi they just part around the car and continue on their way. Meanwhile. Norman, who has never seen a cow, is lunging and slobbering at the window like a wild animal. It all reminds me of an experience my daughter and her family had a few months ago when they moved to North Carolina. They were out motoring on a Saturday morning and met up with a herd of cattle being moved. They were stopped in the middle of the road and told to stay put. And around the curve came the herder with the cows. They were thundering along at a fast clip, quickly surrounded the car with kids and grownups staring with mouths gaping open, and then were gone as quickly as they appeared.
Jojo Moyes has put a bunch of the most unlikely people together in a story that is full and rewarding. She tackles insider trading, divorce, trust, love, and hardship. And she shows us that bullying is alive and kicking in England.
I have an interview with Jojo that I will be posting later this week. She speaks of her writing; writing ONE PLUS ONE in particular.
Can you say road trip? Just remembering the picture of the two kids and the big wooly dog, taking off in the shiny new car, makes me smile. And then the vomiting begins.
Jojo Moyes is quickly becoming a household name. She’s written many books, but is mostly known for ME BEFORE YOU, one of my all-time favorite books, ever. I just want her to keep on writing forever. She is a sure thing.
I received a lovely finished hard copy of ONE PLUS ONE by Jojo Moyes. Thanks go out to Viking.