It is finally book review time and there seems to be no reading slump anywhere in my horizon. It helps that I spent a week with two people who love to read – Nancy is part of a book club and Anna reads A LOT. So, both had fantastic book suggestions and we were trading by the end of the trip. I also work with a hard-core bookie who is always reading something new, recommending her favorites, and expecting the rest of us to share in our reading adventures. It was through this co-worker that I decided to pick-up the book I’ll be reviewing today.
One Day, by David Nicholls, follows the lives of Emma and Dexter after a fling brings them together on graduation evening. It is on this day, July 15, that their stories are followed for 20 years, sometimes separately, and at others intertwined. We see their friendship grow into an impossibly strong bond and come to understand that they are at their best when they are together. However, we also see how their different paths in life can lead to huge fall-outs.
The concept of One Day was absolutely genius and I LOVED this book. It was witty, funny, heartfelt, and, at times, intensely sad. The idea that you are only seeing one day each year keeps the story moving in a truly unique way. It is almost like each chapter ends on its own cliff-hanger, because you bypass a year moving into the next segment. And then the next installment clears up the happenings of the past year either through internal dialogue or interaction between characters. I also loved that you are in both of their minds, watching them fall in love (with whom, I won’t say!), strengthening and ruining their relationship, and working their way through a complicated life they weren’t quite prepared for when they met at graduation.
Both Emma and Dexter are complex in their own ways, and you slowly learn that they are better together. In most ways, they are brutally honest with one another, but also very secretive in other aspects. I do have one word of warning – I found the story a little difficult to get into. However, it is worth sticking through, because these two characters are worth every page. I laughed, I cried (sitting at a cafe on the beach with Matt – embarrassing), and I became a cheerleader for their relationship. In fact, this book affected me enough that I was thinking about it days after. Certainly worth a read, I highly recommend this book to absolutely everyone!
*I am delighted to learn that this story has been adapted into a film, set to release in July! Anne Hathaway plays Emma, though I do not think she is exactly the right casting for this part – if you’ve read One Day leave me your opinion on this.