I try to avoid books about relationships. Let me be more specific; of course every book involves relationships of some kind. I try to avoid those that center on romantic relationships. But every now and then, I read reviews about a book that I just need to read. One Day was one of those books. Don't get me wrong, some of my favorite books are those that examine love and it's complications, misconceptions and inevitable disappointments. But, I think about these ideas more often than not in real life, I'd rather not dwell on them while reading.
That being said, in my experience, books that I relate to are often the ones that captivate me most. David Nicholl's One Day is no different. He structures his novel in a very unique way; every chapter details the relationship of Emma and Dexter on the same day (July 15th) each year, beginning in 1988 and continuing each year for the next 20 years. A lot can change over a year and with each chapter, Dexter and Emma's relationship becomes more complicated and confused than the previous year, as many relationships do.
This is a book about who you want to be and the person you inevitably become. This is a book about timing and examines the hopes we have and the reality that ensues. Nicholls explores themes of fate and the the power of one moment, or one day, to change everything. The premise and structure may seem trite (cf The Time Traveler's Wife) but I promise you, Nicholls delivers in a unique and fulfilling way.
This is a lovely and bittersweet read that is all at once captivating and honest. It's not life changing, but certainly makes you think about what is and what could be - at least if you are the type succumb to the reverie of what it's like to be young and in love, ambitious and unsure.
Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.Publisher: Vintage, 2009