One Plus One (Moyes)

One Plus One 
Jojo Moyes, 2014
Pamela Dorman Books
384 pp.
ISBN-13: 9780525426585



Summary
One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger. One irresistible love story...
 
American audiences have fallen in love with Jojo Moyes. Ever since she debuted Stateside she has captivated readers and reviewers alike, and hit the New York Times bestseller list with the word-of-mouth sensation Me Before You.

Now, with One Plus One, she’s written another contemporary opposites-attract love story.
 
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 Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages....maybe ever.
 
One Plus One is Jojo Moyes at her astounding best. You’ll laugh, you’ll weep, and when you flip the last page, you’ll want to start all over again. (From the publisher.)



Author Bio
Birth—1969
Where—London, England, UK
Education—B.A., London University
Awards—Romantic Novel of the year (twice)
Currently—lives in Essex, England


Jojo Moyes is a British journalist and the author of 10 novels published from 2002 to the present.  She studied at Royal Holloway, University of London and Bedford New College, London University.

In 1992 she won a bursary financed by The Independent newspaper to attend the postgraduate newspaper journalism course at City University, London. She subsequently worked for The Independent for the next 10 years (except for one year, when she worked in Hong Kong for the Sunday Morning Post) in various roles, becoming Assistant News Editor in 1988. In 2002 she became the newspaper's Arts and Media Correspondent.

Moyes became a full-time novelist in 2002, when her first book Sheltering Rain was published. She is most well known for her later novels, The Last Letter From Your Lover (2010), Me Before You (2012), and The Girl You Left Behind ( 2013), all of which were received with wide critical accalim.

She is one of only a few authors to have won the Romantic Novelists' Association's Romantic Novel of the Year Award twice—in 2004 for Foreign Fruit and in 2011 for The Last Letter From Your Lover. She continues to write articles for The Daily Telegraph.

Moyes lives on a farm in Saffron Walden, Essex with her husband, journalist Charles Arthur, and their three children.  (Adapted from Wikipedia.)



Book Reviews
[A] sobering commentary on the widening gap between haves and have-nots [and a]...quirky tale of lopsided families finding the courage to love.... There’s never anything predictable....exactly that quality that makes this offbeat journey so satisfying, and Moyes’s irrepressible flaws-and-all characters so memorable.
Publishers Weekly


(Starred review.)  [O]ne fine novel. With its ensemble cast of skillfully crafted characters...each person’s story flows on its own, yet they all meld together into an uncommonly good story about family, trust, and love.... Bravo to Moyes for delivering toothsome characters in a story readers will truly care about.  —Donna Chavez
Booklist


[A] warmhearted, off-kilter romance, this one between a financially strapped single mother and a geeky tech millionaire.... Unsurprisingly, hostility evolves into mutual attraction. But Moyes throws in a few wrenches.... Moyes has mastered the art of likable, not terribly memorable, but far from simple-minded storytelling.
Kirkus Reviews



Discussion Questions
1. Even though Marty himself is reluctant, Jess opens her home to Nicky, Marty’s son by “a woman he’d dated briefly in his teens” (p. 9), after his birth mother essentially abandons him. If you were Jess, would you be willing to raise Nicky as your own child?

2. Aileen Trent sells designer clothes at a cut rate to people who could never afford to buy them in the shops. Since Jess strongly suspects that they are stolen, is it wrong for her to buy a few items for Tanzie?

3. Jess takes the money that Ed drunkenly drops in the taxi and decides to use it to pay Tanzie’s registration fees. Would she have made that choice if he hadn’t behaved rudely to her while she was cleaning his house? Does his treatment of her excuse her decision?

4. Is it more difficult for the poor to lead law-abiding lives? To what extent is morality a matter of character or circumstance?

5. Ed’s parents couldn’t afford to send both Ed and his sister, Gemma, to public school, so they sent only him. Was it a fair decision? Is Gemma’s resentment justified?

6. Ed helps Nicky get revenge on Jason Fisher by showing him how to hack Jason’s Facebook page. Since Jason intimidated the witnesses to Nicky’s beating into not speaking out against him, is it a justifiable retaliation?

7. At what point in their journey does Ed begin to think less about himself and more about helping Tanzie and her family?

8. Does Ed’s ignorance mitigate the seriousness of his crime? Should he have spent time in prison, or do you feel he was given a fair sentence?

9. Jess’s mother “had been right about many things” (p. 166), but she never made her daughter feel loved. As a result, Jess makes it her priority as a mother to make Tanzie and Nicky feel loved. What is something that your parents did right? What is something they did wrong that you hope to rectify if you are or plan to become a parent yourself?

10. Do you support Jess’s decision to go into debt to pay for Norman’s hospital bills rather than put him to sleep?

11. Did Ed’s financial success go to his head, or was he self-centered before he was rich? What did he have to learn about himself in order to forgive Jess?
(Questions issued by the publisher.)

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