After One Day went gangbusters across the pond, word started spreading in the good ol’ U-S-of A. After reading reviews all over the place, I decided to pick it up before they turned it into a movie (which they are, starring Anne Hathaway). I’m glad I didn’t wait to join the hoards of people already reading this book because I loved it. Author David Nicholls deserves major credit for the unique concept. The novel opens on July 15, 1988, when you meet Emma and Dexter at the start of their friendship. The subsequent chapters check in on these best friends on the same day (and for that day only) each year for around 18 years. Sometimes they’re together; sometimes they’re not. Sometimes they’re happy; sometimes they’re not.
I thought this was a brilliant approach. You get only a glimpse, and each time, you are checking in on a program already in progress. Unbelievably, these snapshots are illuminating and still allow you to glean so much about the characters’ lives. I wonder what people would learn about me if they followed me today and today only?
On top of all that, it’s a beautiful love story. It may not be the conventional literary love story, but it’s messy and therefore one of the most realistic ones I have ever read.
8 out of 10 stars.