Polly works for Posh! Posh! is a magazine owned by Peregrine. The magazine isn’t one of substance but concentrates on the British aristocracy, their love life and fashions. Peregrine is a middle-aged social climber who started the magazine to attract a better class of friends and wives … he is currently with wife number three.
Polly moved to London with her mother when she was very young. Following her father’s sudden death, her mother, Susan, sold their home in the country and came to the city to find work. She desperately wants to be a good writer and cannot see this happening at Posh!, but it is a stepping stone. Susan never remarried and Polly, now 30, lived with her until she found her own independence.
Polly is happy enough; she shares a flat with Joe, who is gay and falls in and out of love constantly. She has friends, including her nerdy best friend since school, Bill. She is independent and has a job writing, albeit a stepping stone for bigger and better things to come. Polly’s life, however, is about to become complicated when she meets a single, young Marquess with a reputation for breaking hearts. And, that will not be the only complication in her life..
Lex is Polly’s friend and she is getting married. On assignment, Polly runs into Lex’s fiance at an adult club. She agonises over her discovery but doesn’t tell her friend until the hen’s night. Will Lex still marry him? But, Polly cannot let this, nor the fact that her best friend Bill is dating someone she doesn’t feel is right for him, distract her because her mother has cancer.
Susan is frightened. She and Polly cling together at the hospital, waiting for news. Susan needs an operation, followed by chemotherapy. Both Peregrine and Bill both are more concerned for Susan than Polly’s new aristocratic boyfriend Jasper, Marquess of Milton. Polly is falling for Jasper, despite warnings from her friends about his reputation. Jasper is attentive and loving so Polly puts his shortcomings, such as not inquiring after her sick mother, to the back of her mind.
Susan has her operation and although Polly worries about her when chemo takes its toll, life goes on. Polly is busy with work and wedding plans for Lex. After 30 years of being alone, Susan meets a nice man, Sydney, while in hospital. He helps Polly take care of her mother. becoming a part of their lives. Sydney too has been ill; will he be around for the long haul?
The Plus One is the first novel written by Sophia Money-Coutts, a 32-year-old British journalist. The Plus One weaves the lives of Polly and her friends together nicely and the author’s experience with the aristocracy in her job gives her insight into the workings of the privileged.
I turned my mind back to my 30s and imagined reading this novel when I was younger. I would have loved it, I still enjoyed it very much but from an average over-60, I imagine some of the scenes and phrases would not be to everyone’s taste. Taking that into consideration, I believe this book will be a hit for Sophie and her writing style will appeal to many. An easy, enjoyable read.
The Plus One, by Sophia Money-Coutts, is available in printed and digital editions from the publisher HQ Fiction.