Welcome to our first ever Darwin’s Book Corner blog!This is a monthly escape in to the world of literacy hero’s and heroines.
This month I will be reviewing ‘The One Plus One’ by Jojo Moyes, a huge holiday read this year, so follow on dear reader and see if it’ll give you the chuckles and the feels. This wasn’t my usual genre of book, I’m someone who obsessively reads ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Harry Potter’, or anything involving vampires. So this romantic book was a complete change of pace, and a total surprise! With delightful main characters like Ed, who is accused of insider trading at his software company in the first few pages, and hard working Jess who has two jobs to keep her and her two kids, Nicky and Tanzie, afloat, this story is believable.
Characters to love
All four main characters are well enough written that you feel as if you know them, you want them to succeed and everything to work out for them in the end. Each of the four characters takes turns in narrating the story, it’s a clever, and very well done, way of telling the story. Each character seamlessly takes over and it’s a great insight into their quirks and challenges, you fall in love with them, and can totally lose yourself in the family.
“‘Where the hell are we anyway?’
‘Oh somewhere on the Yellow Brick Road’
‘Is that the one with the godlike lion that saves everyone?’
‘You’re thinking of Narnia. This one is cowardly and useless.’
Jess works two jobs, cleaning houses and on the bar down the local, her husband has left her and their two children, Nicky the teenage Goth and Tanzie, the 10 year old maths prodigy. He doesn’t pay child support and has no interest in contributing to their lives, other than a Skype call. This is really the only problem I have with Jess, who you will like instantly, she doesn’t stand up to her bum of an ex husband, even when he doesn’t help for a once in a lifetime opportunity for Tanzie to go to a private school on a maths scholarship. Ed steps in with a random act of kindness and offers to drive the whole family, including the flatulence challenged dog, Norman, to Scotland where Tanzie can take part in a maths competition with the chance to win the money to go to the private school. They all pile into his brand new Audi and meet a host of hilarious unpleseantries along the way, from sketchy hotels, very bad fast food kebabs and Tanzie’s travel sickness problems. And Norman’s constant supply of aromas sets the trip off nicely!
It’s all about family
“Everyone I’ve ever met who was worth knowing was a bit different at school. You just need to find your people’
‘Find my people?’
The story is light-hearted and thoughtful with some very emotional points, I found myself crying while reading this book, so please keep a box of tissues close, you will need them! It restores your faith in humanity with Ed’s selfless acts and Jess’ ever optimistic personality, it doesn’t just focus on their romance. Ed helps Nicky find his tribe on the internet using his technical expertise, showing Nicky through blogs and social media he can find friends and escape the constant bullying.
A great holiday read
Although I found the plot slow going at first, there is a lot of backstory to cover (as you can tell from this review there is a lot going on!), this was a bit of a hard slog to get through. But once all four are in the car, with stinky Norman, the hilarious and heart warming story picks right up and is very hard to put back down.
“the more you do the closer you get. Or as I explain it to mum, basically sometimes you just have to keep going”
As I said, this is not something I would normally read so I wouldn’t say I was necessarily hooked on the book, but I thoroughly enjoyed the story and truly adored the characters. They were funny, entertaining and real, it has been compared to the film “Little Miss Sunshine” and I whole-heartedly agree. A perfect, quirky and captivating, caravan read on your holiday. I hope you enjoy!
If you have any books you’d like us to review, or if you want to submit a review yourself, drop us a comment or Facebook message.
Happy Reading Folks!