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!


  1. I hate to be a hater...but hate doesn't do justice to how I feel about the movie. No, that's too strong. I was just really disappointed that I spent $10.75 to be totally pissed off afterwards. Sorry. I bet the book was better.

  2. I'll try the book before the movie. I love London settings. I hope I get there someday.

  3. Hi Dear! Sounds like maybe the book is the way to go... Jessie's review of the movie definitely give one pause! I haven't heard about either but maybe that says more about me than anything else- although generally I do know new books. I'll have to look around and see if I can find it!

    Hope your having a lovely weekend and having a few drinks to warm the toes! *clink, clink* ;)

  4. Ugh, that ending KILLED ME. I still haven't seen the movie--I've heard such mixed things that I'm apprehensive about it. Great review! Hope you're having a lovely weekend!

  5. books are usually better than the movies, which can seldom live up to hopes and expectations.

  6. Sounds interesting! And now I'm very curious about the ending.

  7. Jessie, haven't seen the movie - not really an Anne Hathaway fan, I suspect I'll skip it.

    Susan, am sure you'd enjoy London, there's so much to see and do, and I'm not just saying that. ;-)

    Danette, Oh I hope you had a sip of vino for me! *clink clink*

    Meredith, yup - I'm hearing you on that one. It was a KILLER. Big time. But I loved the characters voices, especially Dexters. Thanks for stopping by!

    MsHatch, definitely! It's because the movies are a summarised version of what the screenwriters interpret from the book.

    KarenG, I think you'd like it... ;)

  8. I've just finished reading this and, whilst I didn't enjoy it hugely, am scoutning around for a few opinions to the contrary - so thanks for yours.

    By the way, I really love your personal description, made me laugh :)

    My review: One Day by David Nicholls


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