Sunday, January 8, 2012

Book Review: One Day

One Day
David Nicholls
435 pages

The book was the first thing I read during break.  Between sitting in the airport for a couple of hours, the actual flight, and about a day at home, I had read the entire thing, cover to cover.  No, actually, it's probably more correct to say that I devoured it.

This is one of the best and most realistic love stories I have read in a while.  I don't personally have a lot of experience with love and relationships, but I know enough to realize that half of what we read and see in the media is a complete lie.  One Day is a completely beautiful portrait of what it means to fall in love with your best friend.  The writing flows so well that before I knew it I was falling in love with the characters myself.  By the end of the novel, I was exhausted and felt as though I had gone on the journey of their lives along with them.

The novel is about a young woman, Emma, and a young man, Dexter, who meet at university.  The novel then goes on to follow the intersecting points of their lives over a span of twenty years, on the anniversary of the day they met.  They go through hardships and triumphs together, as well as periods of hating to love each other.  Nicholls does not leave anything out or make it easy for his characters, but the ending leaves nothing wanting.

In short, One Day speaks directly to those of us who crave honesty about life, love, and relationships.  It is, by far, the best and most compelling novel I read in 2011.  Focus Features made a film out of it, which is now available on DVD.  I haven't seen it yet, but if I were to judge it by its cover, erm, trailer, then I'd say it looks like it does this extraordinary little piece of literature justice.

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