Title: One Day
Author: David Nicholls
Published: 2009; Pages: 435
Rating: I cried then tossed the book across the room
In Short: After a one night affair in 1988, One Day follows the evolving relationship of Emma and Dexter on the anniversary of that day for nearly twenty years.
Why I Read It: Someone(s) said it was fantastic. Was it you? I honestly can’t remember. I thought it was Christina but when I re-read her review I realized it wasn’t her. PS–I miss her!
Thoughts in General: Confused by the premise? So basically we see what is going on in the lives of the main characters on July 15th of every year. It seems as though this would make the characters thin but one of the strengths of the book is the character development. We see Emma and Dexter’s every desire and every flaw, they change and evolve and regress and fail. Though nineteen years ended up being a bit too long for me and I especially grew tired of Dexter’s character. But even when the characters annoyed me (sometimes deeply), I felt this was a strength of their development to make me care and loath so deeply for two people.
Another strength? I really enjoyed Nicholls’s writing–it is brutally honest and covers everything. The dialogue and exchanges always felt very real to me and I also liked that it was decidedly British. Ha! I know that sounds funny but to me this gave the book much more flavor. Is seeing a snapshot of two people on one day a year for so many years believable? It’s an interesting concept and I think that Nicholls pulled it off. Though I tried not to get too caught up in “what the heck is going on the other 364 days of the year?” or any of the other technicalities.
The downfall for me? Dexter. I was so so angry with him much of the book. But I guess maybe that’s the point. That and the 19 year stretch did get to be a bit long. It seems as though I had more thoughts but now I don’t remember them. I finished this a week ago. Lame, I know.
Bottom Line: I cried and then tossed the book across the room. I wanted to love this one more than I did–mostly I just couldn’t stand Dexter and since he’s such a huge part of the book (half!), but then it made me cry and I loved the book a little more, but then I got really mad again and tossed the book. Let me tell you about the very strange look that Scott gave me as I was sitting in my recliner sobbing.
Have you read One Day (or seen the movie)? What did you think? Have you ever read a book that made you toss it across the room?