I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to reading chick lit, squirming even as I say the phrase. But Sophia Money-Coutts’ debut novel The Plus One was getting great reviews from all over, so I thought I’d see what the fuss is about.
The tale follows Polly, a 32 year old journalist working in an unfulfilling job for Posh! magazine, and perennially single. Her head is turned by Jasper, a member of the British aristocracy, at the same time as her beloved mother is diagnosed with cancer. One of these things has a better outcome than the other. But everything works out well in the end, as Polly realises what she wants, and seems to get it.
Written in a funny, at times deadpan way, it’s an easy and enjoyable read. Sophia was a features editor at Tatler, so it’s clear where she got some of her ideas from. As well as barely covered digs at some of the things the richest echelons of society get up to, it covers modern relationships, friendships, and life in London with accuracy and attentiveness. The mother daughter relationship is also sensitively portrayed, and one of the book’s highlights.
The novel’s been described as an updated Bridget Jones, but it’s unlikely to be as genre or era defining as that. But Polly is a character to care about, and I found myself wanting to know what happened next, keeping the pages turning. The Plus One is a good, fun, and easy read. Sometimes that’s all you need.