The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.

Tag Archives: Jojo Moyes

The Ship of Brides


When I was a young girl there lived next to us a wonderful family. Josephine and Eddie were married when he was a soldier serving in Australia. Josephine always referred to herself as a “war bride”. So when I saw The Ship of Brides (B) by Jojo Moyes at the library I had to read it. I wish, now, that I were still in contact with Josephine because after reading this book I have a million questions.

The Ship of Brides follows several young “war brides” as they travel to England to begin life with their husbands. As you can imagine many of these women were very young and had never even left their villages or families before. Now, they are traveling on a former military ship away from all they know.

The main characters Margaret, Avice, Frances and Jean all have their own story. Their backgrounds and love stories are all different. Margaret is pregnant and left her father and brothers soon after her mother left them. Avice reared in a wealthy family of many privileges discovers she is pregnant too. The journey for her is almost unbearable as conditions are not at all what she expected. Jean, the youngest of the lot, is rather wild and crazy. Soon enough, she finds herself in a compromising situation that ultimately has her removed from the ship. However, it is Frances who holds the biggest secrets. Though she has been an exemplary nurse; her past has followed her on board and threatens to destroy her.

I enjoyed this novel very much even though there were times were it seemed to slow to a crawl. The characters were so engaging that I needed to complete the voyage with them and so I plugged along, page by page. Ultimately I am glad that I did. I particularly enjoyed that every chapter has a headline of an excerpt from a newspaper clipping or article about the conditions and circumstances that the brides endured. I encourage you to give The Ship of Brides a try especially if you have known a “war bride” too.

One Plus One


So what do you get when you add a computer geek who may have just ruined his career with an inadvertent episode of insider trading and a hardworking but rather desperate mom? You get One Plus One (A) by Jojo Moyes.

Ed Nicholls had an idea and with his best friend created a multimillion-dollar Internet company. The man, whose father expected nothing much of, became rich beyond anyone’s imaginings and he’s about to loose it all

Jess works very hard to support her two children. Tanzie is a young girl with exceptional math ability. Nicky is Jess’s husband’s son from a previous marriage. At 17, he is very different than his peers. Jess and her husband Marty are separated and now Jess is responsible for all the family finances. She works countless hours, several of them cleaning Ed Nicholls beach house.

Basically through random acts of kindness, Jess and Ed’s lives become tangled together. Ultimately, Ed drives them all to a Math Olympiad in Scotland. The wild and zany ride changes all of their lives.

This book has been compared to the movie “Little Miss Sunshine” and the reasons are fairly obvious but it doesn’t mean that the story is the same. The ebb and flow may be similar but One Plus One goes much deeper. I like that Moyes mingles serious with witty, impossible with possible and all in a cohesive manner.

Many of you were introduced to Moyes with her first novel Me Before You. I enjoyed One Plus One so much that I am headed to the library for Me Before You. I’m hoping to be equally impressed.