I’m participating in several reading challenges, one of which is the 100 Bestsellers List reading challenge. Here’s my review for One Day by David Nicholls.
This post contains spoilers.
One Day follows the lives of Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley over the course of about twenty years, beginning July 15, 1988, the day they both graduate from university. In the opening scene, they are lying in bed together, discussing the future and what they see for themselves now that college is over. Even though they seem to have little in common and their lives take divergent paths, Dex and Emma maintain a connection that is revealed as each subsequent chapter covers the events on the same date each year, July 15th.
It was interesting to read this book right after Olive Kitteridge.
In Olive Kitteridge, the main character, Olive, is revealed through her interactions with others and her own inner thoughts. Each chapter introduces new characters and settings that in some way impact Olive…, an ungainly and cranky woman who has difficulty finding her place within her community and difficulty connecting on an intimate, emotional level with those closest to her, including her own husband and son. It’s only at the very end of the book that Olive realizes she has let opportunities for intimacy pass by and decides she doesn’t want to be alone anymore. Unfortunately, I never really connected with Olive and thus didn’t really care at the end what her self-revelations were.
In One Day, we learn about Dex and Em through their own thoughts and actions and their interplay with each other in each chapter. In the very first chapter, where their relationship begins with what Dexter intended to be a one-night stand, we see their short-comings, their fears, their loneliness. For the most part, they already know who they are. Throughout the book we see how they navigate adulthood and try to follow their dreams.
Read the rest of my review over on It’s A Mystery Blog.