One Plus One is an enjoyable heartfelt story of Jess, the spirited,determined, overly optimistic, resourceful, flat broke single mother of Tanzie -her...more One Plus One is an enjoyable heartfelt story of Jess, the spirited,determined, overly optimistic, resourceful, flat broke single mother of Tanzie -her bright, quirky incredibly sweet daughter who happens to be a math genius, and her step son Nicky, a mascara wearing, weed smoking loner who gets beat up every now and again by the local bully for being a little different. It's also a story about Ed - one of those geeks from high school who now owns the company that develop the software you must have to operate your computer.
Having just made a significantly stupid life altering mistake (in attempts to end a bad relationship he shares a little bit of "inside information" about his company), Ed is at a pretty low point when he meets Jess - his holiday house cleaning lady. Very bad and rude first impression. Second time they meet - at the bar she works evenings - he's flat out drunk unable to make it home alone. Very bad and nasty second impression. But then - on a third chance meeting - in a rare moment of selflessness - he is actually kind and helpful to Jess and her children.
In a moment of weakness Ed offers to help Jess get her kids to Scotland for a Maths competition that Tanzie is going to win which will give them enough money to send Tanzie to a private school where she can be with gifted kids like herself. But as they say - "it's not the destination but the journey that matters"... the journey takes on a life of its own - for each one of them it is like the peeling back of an onion - working through personal challenges and vulnerabilities. It's a journey of kindness, acceptance, change and of course - love.
Jojo Moyes has a gift of story-telling. Using multiple narrators, the perspective shifts but knits together to create something you could almost walk around - as though it has it's own life - like you could look out your window and see what is happening so clearly. She gets you in the heart though....I struggled through many pages choking back the tears - whether they were for reasons of gratitude or sadness - there were many emotional moments throughout.
I adored this book. It was silly, fun, entertaining and absolutely ridiculous! Every once in a while it's great to read something that makes me smile...moreI adored this book. It was silly, fun, entertaining and absolutely ridiculous! Every once in a while it's great to read something that makes me smile and say out loud "this is absurd"!!
On the day Alan Karlsson is to turn 100 years old, an hour before his birthday celebration at the old folks home, he climbs out of his window and disappears. He has no plan in mind other than to avoid all the "to do" about his birthday. While waiting on a bus, he's asked to watch a young punks suitcase for a few minutes. As Alan's bus arrives, the punk still has not returned. A little miffed at how rude the young punk had been he decides at the last moment to take the suitcase along with him. Here begins the exciting journey of Alan's encounter with some not-so-smart criminals, similarly not-so-smart police detectives, ex cons, and even an elephant.
As the present day events are unfolding, we are taken back to Alan's life - from childhood forward - the amazing adventures he survived - the important world leaders he met and influenced - the near death experiences - his influence and involvement in world events such as the spanish civil war and Manhatten Project. It seems he meandered through life motivated primarily by pure goodness (and vodka!) receiving many blessings in return.
This book is for those who can enjoy a tall tale and not take the writer too seriously. If you are light of heart I promise you'll fall in love with Alan and his motley crew! (less)
I'm not sure how I missed this book years ago...I think I was in the midst of early motherhood, but then I think sometimes you are meant to read certa...moreI'm not sure how I missed this book years ago...I think I was in the midst of early motherhood, but then I think sometimes you are meant to read certain books at given times in your life. This book seemed to touch me at the right time - I really enjoyed it. Some of it, I must admit, was way over my spiritual / religious / political / social reach, but I was eager to try to understand the bits I could. I enjoyed the style of writing used to share the story - the narrative style of each daughter and mother sharing their own version of experiences created almost a three dimensional image in my mind of all that was happening to them in the Congo. It was a tragic story really but held many life lessons within it. Some glaring and obvious - Being close minded and dogmatic will lead you away from others and on a path to self destruction as evidenced by Nathan Price's actions. I have added it to my list of favorites as I know it will be on my mind for many days or weeks to come.(less)
I approached this book knowing that although the premise was supposedly based on a historical fact, the rest was a "what if" scenario. The historical...moreI approached this book knowing that although the premise was supposedly based on a historical fact, the rest was a "what if" scenario. The historical fact was rather outrageous so the "what if" ends up being so as well. Trying to assimilate his people and bring peace between the tribe and the US government, a Cheyenne Indian Chief apparently proposed to trade 1,000 horses for 1,000 white women with the idea being all children born to woman belong to the mother's tribe. Contrary to real life history, the book has the government agreeing to the deal and gathering groups of women from various backgrounds - prisons, asylums, volunteers, etc.
The "leader" of the women is Mary Dodd who is a faithful "journaler" and provides the reader with a detailed account of the experience of living with the Cheyennes. Some of these experiences seem completely unrealistic- such as being accepted by the tribe so quickly - or bucking some of the customs without major consequences, but they add to a good story. The book did detail the difficulty both the Indians and the US Government faced when gold was discovered out West and the gold rush began. It was really a sad and embarrassing situation. I enjoyed the narrative style of writing as well as the descriptive imagery of the native indian community and the western front.
The Last Runaway is a story about a young England born Quaker girl who, on an emotional whim, moves to America and ends up in Ohio - living right alon...moreThe Last Runaway is a story about a young England born Quaker girl who, on an emotional whim, moves to America and ends up in Ohio - living right along the active trail of the Underground Railroad. Compassionate, kind and principled, she begins to help runaway slaves, facing some harsh consequences. The book was a good "soft" introduction to the conflict felt by many during this time - helping those in need even if it meant lying and putting those you love at risk. It was an easy read, not too heavy but a little gender specific as I had a hard time imagining the men in my life reading page after page about ribbons, bonnets and quilts!(less)