April 7, 2011

One Day, By David Nicholls

One Day was recommended by one of my favorite book reviewers, Reeder. I've found some great reads thanks to her, so when I had a bookstore gift card to use up, I decided to check this book out.

Plot: Emma and Dexter have known each other throughout University, but they finally hang out (OK, hook up) on their last day, July 15, 1988. After resolving to remain friends, the reader is taken through the next 20 years, shown through glimpses of their lives on the same day, year after year.

What drew me to the book, aside from Reeder's great review, was the premise. I loved the idea of revisiting the same characters on the same day. After all, how often do we sit and think about what we were doing on this exact day one year ago? Two years ago? Five years ago? I bet if we did that, we'd truly begin to see the little decisions and course corrections that add up to the major life decisions and changes we deal with over the course of our lives.

Characters: There are a host of side characters that each have their clever quirks, but the book lives and dies on the backs of Emma and Dexter. It is so fun to watch their growth over two decades. Emma, a meek 20-something grows into this smart, strong and independent woman. But Dexter is the true study in character. He's tragically flawed, and at every poor decision and wrong turn, you just want to shake him. Because you know he's better than that. And in the end, you just want to know if he'll get his act together.

Structure: Each chapter takes place on the same day, one year after the chapter before it. The book is also divided into sections according to their age -- early twenties all the way through late thirties. For someone who loves a good chronology, it doesn't get much easier to follow than this. Of course, the narrative of each day weaves in what's come before in the lives of Dexter and Emma so that you still get a full picture of their story.

This is a great coming of age story that will leave you thinking about it for days. It's also soon to be a movie starring Anne Hathaway. I think the book will lend itself well to the big screen and I can't wait to see these two characters come to life. 4 stars.

1 comment:

  1. I'm intrigued to know what you thought about the ending. I just read this based on your review because like you I liked the premise of the book but was a little shocked by the ending.


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