Published by Penguin Australia on 26 February 2014
Genres: Chick Lit, Romance
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Suppose your life sucks. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your stepson is being bullied and your daughter has a once in a lifetime opportunity . . . that you can't afford to pay for.
So imagine you found and kept some money that didn't belong to you, knowing it would pay for your daughter's happiness.
But how do you cope with the shame? Especially when the man you've lied to decides to help you out in your hour of need . . .
Jess is in hell - Ed has saved her family - but is their happiness worth a lifetime's soul-searching?
I haven’t read a chick-lit book like this for a long time. I must be honest and say that I usually prefer a humorous take on romance (a-la-Bridget Jones) and steer clear of the soppy ‘you-are-the-love-of-my-life’ drivel (a-la-Danielle-Steele). I had never read a Jojo Moyes novel before, but had heard such good things about “Me Before You” that I decided to risk a romance and requested a copy of “The One plus One”.
The story centres on a down-and-out (yet not defeated) single mum, Jess. She makes her meagre living by cleaning for the wealthy and working as a barmaid in a pub. She has a mathematical genius daughter and a stepson who was left with her when her husband up and left and went to live with his mother.
One of the beachfront mansions that Jess cleans belongs to Ed, a wealthy IT CEO who is in hot water over some insider trading allegations. As you would expect, their stories intertwine resulting in all kind of dilemmas and potential romance.
The story was light and entertaining but really didn’t have any substance. I believe that “Me Before You” was a real tearjerker, but I failed to feel such strong emotion in Moyes’ new novel. Also, call me cynical, but I still struggle with the idea of a multi-millionaire falling for a cleaner. Don’t get me wrong – I love the idea in theory, but realistically would this happen? The romantic in me is screaming YES! The social housing employee however says, unlikely.
I would happily recommend this book as a summer beach read. It is full of heart, humour and romance and I have no doubt it will do very well. However, as much as it was an enjoyable experience to read, I have a feeling I will look back in a few months and ask, “what was that book about again?”