In One Plus One, British novelist Jojo Moyes (Me Before You) once again introduces her readers to two mismatched lovers who have troubles of their own but find a safe haven in each other.

Jess is always just one missed paycheck away from disaster. A single mother with two jobs, a disappeared husband, a bullied stepson and a brilliant daughter, she is also desperate to deliver her daughter Tanzie to Scotland to take a math exam that will win her a scholarship to a good school.

In steps Ed Nicholls, one of Jess’ housecleaning clients—and a millionaire. Recently accused of insider trading, he’s lost his company and his best friend. Through chivalry or simply a desire to redeem himself, Ed decides to drive Jess and her family (and their gigantic dog) up to Scotland, a trip of several days. Jess accepts, but she has a secret: In an act of desperation, she registered her daughter for that school using money she stole from Ed’s wallet. The road trip that follows is part comedy, part tragedy.

One Plus One is full of quirky characters and absurd situations, but it is written with authenticity, humanity and warmth. It is impossible not to root for Jess, a compassionate woman who knows she hasn’t always chosen wisely, but who is determined to make life bearable for her kids. With her characteristic blend of heart and humor, Moyes takes her characters on a journey, and despite the roadblocks, they find their way home.

 

This article was originally published in the July 2014 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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