28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The One Plus One (Kindle Edition)
I was somewhat trepidous about 1 + 1, the book appeared on my Kindle orders somewhat out the blue. I suspect Amazon made the recommendation a while ago and without questioning it clicked pre-order. I needn't have worried, despite being not my usual genre enjoyment area, Moyes managed to take me for a road-trip far away from the lands of cheese, cliche, and purple prose.
The story revolves around Jess, a solo mother struggling with the bills and everything else that comes from raising a couple of kids while living within a low-income estate in London. The tension of the story begins when her daughter a maths superstar is offered a potential place in a prestigious private school. Of course there are fees and not much time to raise them.
Cue Ed, a rich software developer with unfortunately for him, no clue.
Now in cliche-town Ed would simply sweep Jess off her feet and fix all her problems with credit card. Instead (and I don 't think this counts as spoilers as it happens in his first chapter) he is accused of insider trading and his freedom and finances are completely at risk.
That is the scenario our protags find themselves in, and while there is plenty of romance genre familiar sex, longing, familial malfunction, the story is fresh and original. There is a scene towards the end which will simultaneously break your heart and make you laugh out loud.
Something that really stands out in this book, is Moyes' ability to pen unique voices when narrating different characters perspectives, without even resorting to stereotypes. Often books with multiple viewpoints risk everyone speaking with the same voice. Not this one.
Another bonus of this piece is that despite a satisfying amount of uplift, the book does not pull punches, and there is plenty of real life struggles and tragedy to tug at the heart strings. There is also plenty of humor, perfectly balanced with the romance and emotional trauma.
My favorite thing about 1 + 1 though, is that fact that the characters aren't perfect. Nowhere will you find pages devoted to Jess' beauty, or Ed's rock hard abs. What you will find is believable depiction of life on the downside, and a man struggling to come to terms with loss and the realization that he has spent his life caring too much about material wealth.
So to tie this all up - great book. Recommended