Monday, August 18, 2014
Book Review: One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
Author: Jojo Moyes
Enjoyment Rating: ****
Content Alert: language, some violence (including an attempted sexual attack), sex
Take the classic road trip story. Add in one part nerdy, soon-to-be-arrested-for-insider-trading software developer, another part hardworking single mum who happens to be the software developer's house cleaner, another part bullied, anxious teenage stepson, yet another part math whiz preteen daughter prone to carsickness, and one final part stinky dog. Put them together in a luxury car headed from the southern coast of England to a math tournament in Aberdeen, Scotland, and adventure ensues.
Moyes does a nice job taking what at first appear to be broadly-drawn, stock characters, and adding some complexity. Jess, for example, won't ever let her kids eat a McDonald's because that's exactly what people think a single mom who had her kids when she was a teenager would do. At first Ed appears to be an unthinking jerk who doesn't want to visit his dying father, but we learn it's much more complex than that. It's an enjoyable ride, with some serious moments interspersed within the comedy of errors of the vacation. And there's romance too, and learning to trust people, and how two people from completely different backgrounds can learn to fall in love. It's a super-fun read, with sweet characters that will stay with you once the journey ends.