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Saturday 19 July 2014

The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes


I’m a good many books away from having read a traditionally published book, so I thought I would dip in, just to see if all those harsh critics of self-published books had any basis for their unfavourable comments. Well, on the basis of this book…they haven’t.

The One Plus One features Jess, a single mum struggling to support two children after the departure of their father: a mum who wants to do the right thing whatever the circumstances and who wants instil the same ethic in her children. Tanzie is a mathematical child prodigy, and Nicky is taunted by neighbourhood bullies. They're both ‘different’ in their own way, and Jess wants to do her best for both, but a financially unsupportive ex-husband makes life very difficult.

Ed Nicholls is a computer software genius, financially secure with a glowing future—glowing until an error of judgement in some pillow talk rocks his world. Jess and her business partner, Nathalie, clean his house, and her relationship with him is strictly professional, but as it happens, a great deal is about to changefor him and for her.

I really did enjoy this. It was a very appealing story with some engaging characters, great dialogue and a drooling dog you just had to adore. It was very easy to climb right inside the story and feel you were part of it all. Jojo is obviously very good at her craft. However, I think she’s spent too much time in the US…whilst the writing is distinctly British, a few very American phrases have crept in, and they stood out like a sore thumb; they just weren’t necessary. I also had to raise my eyebrows at the speed at which a character was attended to in A&E. You don’t just drop in and get treated without waiting for at least two to four hours, I’m afraid.

What I was surprised…and irritated…by was the standard of editing. One of the main criticisms of the anti-indie community is just that: poor editing. The editor of this book had no idea of comma usage, there was a time and tense discrepancy and annoying font changes…I had to keep changing the font size of my Kindle. So I’m disappointed that a big publisher and this author simply don’t care about standards or their readers. As long as they’re skipping all the way to the bank with their £££s, that’s enough, it seems.

I do recommend this book, but I have read better-edited self-published books.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting, Cathy. I've noticed that editing is deteriorating for trad books, too.