As an avid reader, I never discriminate to particular genres, I am open to all kinds of texts; from different eras, to different authors and different subject matters. However, it would be fair to say that I prefer the classics, teenage fiction and epic, romping fantasies, so it’s fair to say that I was apprehensive when I decided to divulge my crave for books in the romantic 2009 novel by David Nicholls: One Day.
This is a story about two characters, Emma and Dexter, Dex & Em; a story in which the reader follows over 20 years period from 1988 to 2007. However, the point is that the reader only gets a one day glimpse of their progressing lives: 15th of July. It’s interesting, not only to see how they grow from young, optimistic university graduates to middle-aged TV-stars and authors, but to also be given so little detail, the reader endeavours to fill in the blanks, to paint their own pictures of the years, and satisfy themselves with their own fantastical imaginings.
Gritty and relatable, the plot-line often depicts scenes of how life actually is – Nicholls doesn’t endeavour to make the character’s lives extravagant, he makes an effort to portray them as real (and oft times whilst I was reading this, I forgot myself that I was, actually, reading a fiction, and not a true life memoir.) Everybody has felt lonely, depressed and unsatisfied with their existence, that feeling of being completely alone with no options, and it is not any different for the characters in this novel, and that is what makes me love this book so much.
The characters are so thoroughly developed; Emma Morley’s cute, intelligent and sarcastic wit is charmingly attractive and Dexter Mayhew’s ignorant, yet in-the-right-place, mindset is hard to dote on, but after reading the novel you feel that you want to meet the characters all over again. Yet, the brilliance of a book is that you can – you can read their journey all over again, and it all restarts from page 1.
I would recommend this read, as I’m glad that I, myself, did chose to read this. It’s warm, light and what can only be described as: a kind of book you’d read on a mild summers day, in the sunlight, sitting by a pond, with the fresh feel of grass underneath you, perhaps with Bon Iver playing in the background. This story connotes to me the potent beauty of life; it’s a novel that I cannot omit from my mind. So, read this, and you shall not be disappointed.
“And, of course, there is always joy in witnessing the joy of others.” – One Day.
(The film isn’t terrible either, and Anne Hathaway as Emma is a gem, so, after reading this, catch the film some time?)