Author David Nicholls has written a clever, endearing, sharp, and witty novel that tells the story of Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew. On July 15th 1988 Emma and Dexter graduated from a University in Edinburg. They’ve never travelled in the same circle, however, that night they find themselves in Emma’s college apartment talking about their lives, their hopes, and their futures. It’s a one night stand that turns into a decade’s long friendship. A friendship we get to visit every subsequent July 15th allowing us a look into what’s been happening in their lives as they continue their up and down friendship.
Emma experiences disappointment after graduation, including a succession of ghastly jobs that include performing for school children in an experimental theater group and waitressing at the Café Loco, but Dexter’s privileged upbringing continues to bring him success including a meteoric rise as a TV presenter. Through the years we witness the changes in their lives, as Dexter’s career begins to unravel, and Emma slowly finds her way to what she always wanted. There were times I wanted to scream at Dexter, “Get your act together.” Or yell at Emma, “Girl, you are better than that!” Through it all—the carousing, the insensitivity, the tragedies, and hardships—I came to quickly root for both characters to succeed in life and in a relationship with each other.
While the reader only gets to see their lives one day a year on July 15th, the author expertly manages to give the reader a complete look at the other 364 days that have ensued, allowing us to feel as if we’ve lived every day with them. This is a novel that will bring you joy and heartache. It will make you think: If you had the opportunity to see your entire life written out for you day by day, would you make any changes? That is the question I asked myself while reading “One Day.” It made me ponder the notion of living my life OUT LOUD, of taking risks and being daring. In short, this book evoked emotions and had a profound effect on me. David Nicholls has created a most extraordinary accounting of a relationship that resonates and brings to mind the very essence and complications of the connections that bring people together.
As a romance reader, will you read a book that doesn’t have a traditional happily ever after?
Maria Lokken is an avid romance reader and an award winning television producer.