Jess Thomas is a twenty-something single mother trying to make ends meet. She has a small cleaning service she runs with a partner, and at nights she works part-time as a bartender at the local pub.
The bills just keep piling up, and money is always an issue. Clothes are handmade, food is not signature, and bus rides are the only option. But Jess still counts herself lucky for she has Tanzie, her ten year-old daughter, a whiz at maths, and just way too smart and perceptive about things in general. She’s also got Nicky, her ex-husband’s teenage son, whom she took in her care when he walked out on them two years ago. Throw in Norman, their huge, slobbering family dog of indeterminate breed to the mix, and it is happy chaos all around.
Ed Nicholls, on the other hand, doesn’t worry about money. He has a successful software company in London, cars and properties under his name, and a quiet routine in his highly organised life. But things suddenly head south when he is accused of insider trading, and everything that he worked so hard for all his life now hangs in the balance.
A twist of fate brings Ed, Jess, Tanzie, Nicky and Norman together. All five of them embark on a road trip of some sorts in a mad dash to Scotland, sharing a small car, one misadventure after another, town after town. For Tanzie, it’s her shot at a future in a really good school. For Nicky, it’s to find the fight again after suffering from a really bad beating. For Jess, it’s the possibility of a love that she has not experienced ever. And for Ed, it’s to visit his dying father and own up to his mistake yet again.
I’m a huge Jojo Moyes fan and I’m so happy that this book did not disappoint. She has once again written a book that left my heart light and happy. It’s equal parts sad, charming, hilarious and romantic. Jess and kids (and dog) are a messy, lovable bunch, and you will root for them all the way. Ed is a modern day knight in shining armour, and yes, I sort of fell in love with him, too. If you’re looking for something sweet and light, happy and positive, maybe a few tears, this is the perfect read. Two thumbs up!