The One Plus One by JoJo Moyes

Here’s an interesting fact for you – Tanzie (one of the main characters in The One Plus One) was named after the daughter of the highest bidder in a charity auction in aid of the Stepping Stones Down’s Syndrome Support Group. The One Plus One

It’s a wonderful name and absolutely suits the young girl in the story. It makes me wonder if the book would have been different if someone named Hilda had been successful in the auction …

Anyway, I digress. I received this book to review for Mumsnet Bloggers. So here we go:

Tanzie is a young Maths genius. Her elder half-brother Nicky is being badly bullied. Jess, their mum, is struggling to keep them financially afloat with cleaning and bar jobs. They own a gigantic, drooling dog.

Ed Nicholls is wealthy, having made his money writing computer software. Then he makes a mistake and his world comes tumbling down.

This set of characters ends up on a car journey from the south coast to Aberdeen. Tanzie’s car sickness limits them to 40 mph. The dog’s digestive system pollutes the car. They live on sandwiches and food stolen from a hotel breakfast buffet. Relationships develop and are tested during the days and nights they spend cooped up together.

This is great light-reading and perfect escapism if you want to think about someone else’s problems instead of your own. I totally believed in this band of people and was rooting for each of them.

What more can I say – for me the characters make a book and these characters were brilliant.


  1. #1 by Anne Harvey on August 19, 2014 - 1:13 pm

    Jojo Moyes is one of my very favourite authors with her ‘Me Before You’ being my favourite novel of all time so I’m looking forward to reading this one. It’s on my TBR list!

    • #2 by Sally Jenkins on August 19, 2014 - 5:31 pm

      This is the first Jojo Moyes book I’ve read, Anne, – but I don’t think it will be my last. I’ll look out for ‘Me Before You’.

  2. #3 by liz young on August 19, 2014 - 3:35 pm

    Sounds like a great story.

  3. #4 by Linda on August 20, 2014 - 7:30 pm

    Sounds like a fun read, but now I’m wondering how easy (or difficult) it was for the author to use a character name that she didn’t pick herself. Was she given the name before or after she’d worked out the plot? I agree with you that characters make a book, and their names have to be just right to fit their personality.

    • #5 by Sally Jenkins on August 21, 2014 - 6:46 am

      I don’t know at what point she was given the name, Linda. I guess it would have to be before the character was fully formed – that’s how I would want it.

  4. #6 by hilarycustancegreen on August 21, 2014 - 6:31 am

    I find myself very ambivalent about Jojo Moyes writing. I think I’ve read three now and enjoy the stories, but get bothered by some aspects of the plotting. Writing changes reading.

    • #7 by Sally Jenkins on August 21, 2014 - 6:49 am

      I agree, Hilary, writers do read differently. But I did enjoy this book. I read most of it at Swanwick – so maybe it gave me much-needed light relief in what is a tiring week!

  5. #8 by Annikazam on August 26, 2014 - 11:30 am

    I reviewed this too for Mumsnet and thoroughly agree, it was a cracking read! Great review, good work!

    • #9 by Sally Jenkins on August 26, 2014 - 4:10 pm

      Thanks, Annika. I’m looking out for the next Mumsnet book review offer now!

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