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Lindsey's Literary Leanings

Book Reviews - Contemporary Fiction / Biographies / Autobiographies

  • Lindsey Skelton-Smith

The One Plus One (Author: Jojo Moyes)

The One Plus One (Book Cover)

Genre; Comtemporary Fiction

The One Plus One By Jojo Moyes

One overworked single mum, struggling to pay the never ending bills & mounting debts. One maths obsessed 10 year old & a goth teenager persistently bullied for the way he chooses to present himself to the world. Plus one very large flatulent dog.

One recently divorced man, who having unwittingly got himself in trouble with the law is now awaiting a court date with a potential custodial sentence. To add to his problems, his rapacious Italian ex wife, not content with a generous divorce settlement is harassing him for further funds for repairs on her mother's property.

Both are in need of an escape from their difficult situations. Jess needs to get her daughter to Aberdeen to take part in an Olympiad. Ed has a spacious, comfortable Audi & offers to facilitate their journey. Four people & the aforementioned flatulent canine embark on a 3 day road trip, on which one of them suffers a particularly bad bout of kebab related food poisoning, several road side picnics are assembled through nefarious means, & piles of cheese sandwiches are eaten. Plus a budding romance is explored. Will it survive once they return to reality?

Having read 4 of Jojo Moynes books, I was anticipating another equally good read. I found this story to be slightly different to the others in that, apart from the introduction of a few side characters at the beginning & scattered throughout the book, it mainly follows the same four characters on the same journey working towards the same goal. Her other books that I have read seem to feature more diverse characters spread throughout the course of each story who have a connection to each other in some way. In The One Plus One, this made the narrative feel much more rudimentary. It took me till chapters 7/8 to form any sort of connection with the characters & to form an image of them in my head, which turned out to be completely different to how they were described. My leading man is always Stephen Mangan??!! At the end of all of Jojo's other books, I found myself wanting to know more & where the characters lives take them next. Whilst the end of this story is tied up quite neatly, I didn't find myself feeling the same.

The food poisoning excerpt & the farting dog lifted what could otherwise have been quite a dull tale, but I still found the book none the less enjoyable.

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