A Mother's love is something fierce

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

 One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Penguin | Pamela Dorman Books
Pages: 384 pages
Source & Format: Library: e-book
Amazon| Goodreads

Summary (From Goodreads):

One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger. One irresistible love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You.

Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can't afford to pay for. That's Jess's life in a nutshell--until an unexpected knight-in-shining armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess's knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympias feels like his first unselfish act in ages. . . maybe ever.

Thoughts on One Plus One:

Sometimes I think that I'm overwhelmed, then I read stories like One Plus One and I realize that I don't even know what overwhelmed is. Jess found herself with a family and a deadbeat husband before she even reached her twenties. Now at 27 she is completely on her own, raising both her child and her husband's child from a previous relationship. Her husband is taking some time to find himself at his mother's house and provides zero support. Jess works odd jobs just to make ends barely meet. Life is incredibly difficult. Despite all of the difficulties Jess wants nothing more than the best for her children and she works so hard to try to make their lives better.

In this day and age when the gap between the rich and poor is growing ever wider and the chance for upward mobility is decreasing substantially books like One Plus One are needed. Moyes takes a more lighthearted approach but the pain and the hopelessness of Jess's situation is ever present. I'm a mother myself now and read this book from that perspective. She wants so much for her kids and she wants to be there for them, but it's next to impossible to balance everything. There are so many times when I felt my heart ache because I could feel how helpless Jess must feel. She has very limited options yet continues to be so incredibly optimistic.

Enter in Ed. He has achieved so much in his life but one bad decision will reveal how quickly one can lose almost everything. Initially Jess doesn't know just how much his life is spiraling out of control. She thinks he is an entitled, privileged jerk, but as she gets to know him she realizes that things aren't as they initially appear to be.What I love most about their relationship is that, despite what the synopsis may hint at, Ed isn't saving Jess. In reality they save each other.

I had some really high expectations for this read. I adored Me Before You and had expected that I would find myself with a similar reaction for One Plus One. The characters in this novel were good but I never really felt like I knew them the way that I knew Lou and Will. Whenever I put this book down I never really found myself wondering about the cast of One Plus One and I think that is what I'm most disappointed about. That connection wasn't quite there for me.

It's a cute story and I can see how some readers could love this tale. The writing is still very good and you better believe that I will be reading every book Moyes has written.

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