One Plus One by Jojo Moyes is a moving book.
Moyes specializes in tear jerkers that miss the obvious cliches, maintain a sense of humor and touch sensitively on delicate topics. For those who read such books, her stories can't be beat. And I'm a fan, which is why I've read so many of her books and done so many related reviews. Her characters are flawed…but accessible…and human.
In One Plus One we meet two people who've made some bad choices. They're nice people and didn't mean to do self destructive things but somehow they did anyway. Jess had a baby too young, her husband split (leaving behind his other child…from another relationship) and her prodigy daughter is offered a scholarship and they can't afford a small required contribution.
Ed is a brilliant and successful software engineer who founded a hot company…who might lose it all due to an insider trading charge. And all he was trying to do was get rid of an unwanted (broke) girlfriend. Who told her brother at a hedge fund the tidbit Ed shared to give her the money to move on.
Moyes also likes to throw improbable people together and find a way to make it work. So she throws these two together.
And the ensuing story is just fun. Sure, Moyes pushes plausibility at times..but so does life. I'm a fan of her books and this one might be my favorite yet.
In a very sophisticated way she mixes in people's biases and judgements, showing how they aren't fair but wound anyway. Today too much we blame people for choices yet luck and bias do play a part. Children with a single mom are no worse than other kids but are often treated as if they are. Rich and successful is worth more than character. And, people are different (hint…people are people..but some judge more ...than do others).
A great read.