Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One Day



I've been reading reviews for One Day by David Nicholls for months and I've passed by the book several times in bookstores. The premise intrigued me but I've read the unimpressive Starter for Ten by the same author and I thought this would be another disappointing read. How wrong I was! After reading more rave reviews, I decided to finally purchase the book.

Dex and Em. Em and Dex. They meet on the night of their college graduation in 1988. They're made for each other but they don't know it yet. Life calls them to different places and different things. But their obvious connection to one another stays and for the next twenty years we get a snapshot of their lives on the same day every year, July 15th.

Once in a while a book comes along that makes me cry. I can probably count on one hand how many books have had this effect on me and right now I can only recall one, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.  Curiously enough, The Kite Runner didn't even have a sad ending, it was actually happy and promising.  I never expected to have this reaction with One Day but I just bawled when I reached the last page and the page after the acknowledgements where Nicholls quoted a line from the book. This is a beautiful novel and I'm absolutely sure it will make my top ten of the year.

It's hard to believe a writer can pull off this kind of structure but Nicholls managed it and he did it just perfectly. Although we only see a day in a year of Dexter and Emma's lives, we get a good picture of what they've been up to since the last time we saw them. We get emotionally involved with them and learn to love them, imperfections and all. This is the kind of book where you think you know how it will all end but you don't care. It's the journey that matters. How will it reach that ending? In spite of what you expect, Nicholls does manage to throw in some surprises here and there. This is a wonderful, engaging and ultimately very moving novel. Please read it and when you've finished it, pass it on to a friend. It's that kind of book.

"Live each day as if it's our last', that was the conventional advice, but really who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn't practical. Better by far to simply try and be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion and your electric typewriter and work hard at...something. Change lives through art maybe. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance."

13 comments:

  1. this sounds like a very interesting book

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  2. This sounds amazing. I read a review a few weeks back and added it to my TBR and forgot why I did. Thanks for the reminder! I'll be moving it up!

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  3. I kind of want to go back and read this already, I loved it that much. As you know from my review, it's definitely one of those books I wish everyone would read. So glad you felt the same!

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  4. Fantastic review!! I have this on my stack of review books... looks like I need to get to it soon!! (At least before the year is over so it can potentially be on my list of best of the year too,haha)

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  5. Wow, now I'm interested in this book. The premise sounds a bit like the movie Same Time, Next Year, without the adultery, I think. Thanks for the review!

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  6. Definitely want to read this one now.Absolutely love that last paragraph. Iyt really makes you think doesn't it.

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  7. I just read a review on Rhapsody in Books on One Day and now yours! I am missing something in not getting this book.

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  8. Hi Mrs. B!

    I have been following your blog for some time now and I finally found the courage (and time!) to run a book blog of my own. You were actually a major inspiration for me to start blogging about the books that I read. I hope you'll find the time to pop by my site: http://thereadmoreproject.wordpress.com. Thanks and may many more good books come your way! x

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  9. This book is special to me, just because my daughter absolutely called me almost at each turn. I don't think we have ever bonded over a book as much as we did with this one.

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  10. Oh yes, please read the book if you haven't yet! I'm sure you'll all love it.

    @The Captive Reader - I can understand why you wanted to read this book again. In fact, it's very hard to choose a book after this one. Nothing seems to satisfy me right now. I guess I'm back to having another book slump :-(

    @NinaM - Thanks for dropping by and thanks for your kind words. I'm so happy that I helped inspire you to start your own blog. It's a lot of fun and you'll enjoy it tremendously. I look forward to reading your future posts.

    @BookQuoter - How wonderful that you connected with your daughter with One Day! My husband is now reading it now and yesterday I heard him laughing beside me and I had to know which part he was reading. It's so fun to share this book.

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  11. I have been resisting buying this but. it. is. just. too. hard.

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  12. Glad to have your take on this, Mrs. B. I read the first chapter on my Kindle and remained on the fence but I've got a couple of plane trips coming up and it did seem like potentially excellent travel reading.

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