Friday, 4 November 2011
Book Review: David Nicholls' One day
I confess, I bought this novel at the start of the year but I didn't actually read it until recently and I admit with all the hype surrounding it and the movie - I had high expectations. The main protagonists are Emma and Dexter, two graduating students who although they have known each other at a distance - actually get it together on their last night at university in Edinburgh and after an awkward 'morning after' - they part company to start their brave new lives in the big bold world. Dexter strikes out across the globe; Emma moves to London; both hold down an assortment of jobs throughout the book. We follow their lives as they unfold - on St Swithin's Day, every year, over the course of twenty years. It's a wonderful concept for a book, right?
David Nicholl's weaves a great story, its a hefty read at just over 400 pages but once you settle into Emma and Dexter's lives, you may wish it were longer. As I ploughed through each chapter I found myself willing them on, wondering if they would ever get it together again and of the two characters I found myself drawn to Dexter. What I liked about this book? I loved the dialogue, the humour and yes, even the 'emotional bits' that moved me to tears. I particularly enjoyed the setting too - although there are a few small scenes in Europe, the majority of the story is set in London and all the characters are believable, it felt like, well, they could be anyone living down the street from me. What I didn't like so much? Well, lets just say there's a bittersweet moment...towards the end and leave it at that.
Overall, it's a wonderful story about two souls who loved each other, their relationships with other people and with each other. It's a great reminder that despite the ups and downs, life does indeed go on and thats the thing about this story - it keeps moving, its fluid, just like real life. I haven't watched the film yet but I definitely recommend the book, well-written and entertaining!