Ever read a book and wish you’d come up with that idea? It’s not often it happens to me. I can only think of three occasions when this niggling sense that I really wanted to write the same book has tormented me. Which books do I wish I’d written? Ernessa T. Carter’s 32 Candles, Dorothy Koomson’s Goodnight, Beautiful and now David Nicholls’ One Day.
Now this isn’t the first David Nicolls novel I’ve read. A while back, I read Starter for Ten but it didn’t move me. I also tried The Understudy but I just couldn’t get into it. I wasn’t sure at first that I was going to read One Day. I read a short review of it in Marie Claire and thought, well this could be interesting. But I still didn’t run out and buy it. So what made me buy One Day? I was at home ill with a sinus infection and I was going crazy because I’d read absolutely everything in my apartment. I ordered it from Bokus on a whim. And–wow–am I glad I gave in to that whim!
One Day starts with Emma and Dexter meeting on 15 July 1988, the night of their graduation from University of Edinburgh. From there, we follow their lives for twenty years, each time getting one day of their lives as their chosen paths cross and diverge. Dexter goes against the grain and becomes a TV presenter while Emma finds herself stuck in one dead-end job after another, unable to find her way. As Dexter gets lost in a spiral of drugs and alcohol, Emma finds herself in a relationship with a man she doesn’t love and who keeps her under his thumb. Life and other lovers get in the way as Dexter and Emma try to find their way back to each other and to what they want from life.
If you like your books chock full of fantastic character development and great dialogue, then this is the book for you. I didn’t want to put down One Day, which drove my husband insane. Even while we ate dinner I was reading it, I loved it so much. I’m a sucker for books about relationships and should-be-lovers-but-aren’t-for-some-reason so it shouldn’t have surprised me that this book would really speak to me. Even with the sometimes heavy-handed moments in the book, there is a wonderful comedic touch that makes you feel like you’re reading your favorite romantic comedy.
So if you’re looking for a book to get lost in this autumn, then pick up a copy of One Day. And I hear they’ve already started shooting One Day in Edinburgh with Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess as Emma and Dexter so it’s sure to be popping up at your local cineplex soon.