One Day by David Nicholls
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton | 2011 (first published 2009) | 435 pages
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Book description from Goodreads:
It’s 1988 and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley have only just met. They both know that the next day, after college graduation, they must go their separate ways. But after only one day together, they cannot stop thinking about one another. As the years go by, Dex and Em begin to lead separate lives – lives very different from the people they once dreamed they’d become. And yet, unable to let go of that special something that grabbed onto them that first night, an extraordinary relationship develops between the two.
Over twenty years, snapshots of that relationship are revealed on the same day – July 15th – of each year. Dex and Em face squabbles and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. And as the true meaning of this one crucial day is revealed, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself.
It has been a long time since I came across a book which has me looking forward to reading it every day. One Day is such a book even though it took me a couple of weeks to finish it but it had been a fulfilling read the whole time.
What I gotta say is, Emma is too good for Dexter, even Ian Whitehead (Emma’s ex-boyfriend) says that. She has had to wait for some 20 years just for Dex to realise that she is the one for him. It’s a wonder their friendship even lasted that long.
That said, the format of the book makes for easy reading. You know, each chapter happens to fall on the 15th of July from the year 1988 up until 2007 (when Dex and Emma were in their 20s right up to their 40s), and it’s interesting to read how the characters grow older and supposedly wiser every year.
As the book progresses, we get to know of how Dex and Emma live their lives, their uncertain feelings for each other and also their relationships and friendships with other people. It is all so straightforward that the reader feels they know Dex and Em like their own best friend! You get to know too much that you might also want to give Dex a hard knock on his head for being so blind.
I was near tears after finishing the book, because well, *spoiler alert*, it has quite a sad ending, depending on the way you see it. I might have also been sad because it was the end of an ‘amazing’ book. I finished the book last night and I watched the movie version starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess this morning. It is nice to know that the movie stayed close to the book though certain characters have been left out.
I also wondered how Nicholls got the inspiration to write this story. I was wishing that it was loosely based on a real couple but I have not come across any articles yet that suggest such an idea.
Now that I’m thinking what other books that have a similar story, Cecelia Ahern’s Where Rainbows End comes to mind! In that book however, the main characters, also best friends, only got together when they were in their 50s! Dex and Emma were some 10 years earlier. =)