Sunday, July 13, 2014

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

They don't have time for a new relationship.  Each is facing big troubles.  Ed is one of the newly rich, a software developer who has struck it rich writing software.  To avoid the business side, he sold the company to another firm and is now facing jail for what the police are calling insider trading.  To Ed, it was just a way to get an unsatisfactory situation with a woman out of the way, but the law doesn't see it that way.  

Jess is one of the struggling poor, especially since her husband walked out two years before saying he just couldn't cope.  He left his son by a former marriage, Nicky, who is routinely getting bet up for being a goth kid who is sensitive and doesn't fit in.  It's even less likely that Tanzie will fit in when she gets to high school next year.  She is a math whiz and young for her age.  Jess can already see the mean girls circling and knows that Tanzie's sweet spirit will be crushed.  Then there is Norman, the biggest, smelliest dog in the world.  Jess is working two jobs to barely keep things afloat.  One of her customers is Ed, and she's not impressed with him at all.

Then a miracle happens.  A local private school offers Tanzie a place for the next year due to her math ability, or at least they have a place if Jess can come up with what is a fortune to her.  She hears about a math contest in Scotland with a prize that would pay Tanzie's school fees, if she can only get her there.  Destitute, she tries to drive a car her husband left behind and doesn't even make it out of town before the police pull her over.  Luckily, Ed comes along and for some reason he doesn't even understand himself, offers to take the whole crew to Scotland.  Can they make it in time and will Tanzie win the competition?

Jojo Moyes has written a charming tale full of love and the power of optimism.  Jess is a mother lion, proud and determined to do whatever it takes to save her kids.  Ed is a man with a good heart but who hasn't quite grown up.  The story of the relationship that develops is charming and the reader will close the book with their faith in good things happening to good people enforced.  This book is recommended to readers who enjoy women's literature and those in need of some sunshine in their lives. 

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