Toni Jordan

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Toni Jordan

Grace Lisa Vandenburg counts. The letters in her name (19). The steps she takes every morning to the local café (920); the number of poppy seeds on her slice of orange cake, which dictates the number of bites she’ll take to finish it. Grace counts everything, because numbers hold the world together. And she needs to keep an eye on how they’re doing.

Seamus Joseph O'Reilly (also a 19, with the sexiest hands Grace has ever seen) thinks she might be better off without the counting. If she could hold down a job, say. Or open her kitchen cupboards without conducting an inventory, or make a sandwich containing an unknown number of sprouts.

Grace’s problem is that Seamus doesn’t count. Her other problem is…he does.

Addition is a fabulous debut novel. Grace is witty, flirtatious and headstrong. She’s not a bit sentimental but even so, she may be about to lose track of the number of ways she can fall in love.


We all have our quirks and view of the world that can lead us into trouble, or out. Here, Toni Jordan, first-time local author, has used a romantic framework to explain a particular affliction of the main character, Grace. Grace is a counter - everything she sees and does is defined by numbers. The food she eats, the purchases she makes, and the steps she takes are all based on numbers. This is not a classic tale of a woman going under because of her obsessive disorder, but rather, a story about what defines us and makes us unique. It is also about a family surviving tragedy and accepting the outcomes.

Told with great warmth and humour, Jordan has created a strong female character that needs to confront her demons, accept them and move on. The Melbourne landscape of the novel is marvelous as well. This is a love story without the frills. An enjoyable read all the way through.

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