Tuesday, August 10, 2010

One Day - David Nicholls (Kindle)


I have mentioned in the past (specifically with Marisa de los Santos' books) the desire to wrap myself up in a story as if it were a favorite comfy blanky. Some books provoke this feeling - they are somehow familiar, and warm, and so enjoyable you don't want them to end. I'm planting my flag on another.

I know I'll sound trite by saying this (and I'm certainly not the first to say it), but the plot is somewhat reminiscent of When Harry Met Sally. A man and a woman with a friendship that spans decades of lovers, career changes, successes and heartbreaks, an accidental sexual encounter or two with each other, and the knowledge that they absolutely MUST end up together. Throw in some clever British wit. Stir in a little "Same Time Next Year" (great movie, trust me if you haven't seen it, Google it). One Day is the result.

The book follows Emma and Dexter from the day after their college graduation (where they had a one-night tryst but recognized in each other a best friend) through the next twenty years of their lives. Each chapter provides a snapshot of each year on July 15th (St. Swithin's Day). There is an ebb and flow cycle between them...relationships come and go, careers come and go, they each struggle through various crises in their lives, but their friendship endures. We pray for the day they allow themselves to freely fall in love with each other.

I've heard people speak unkindly about this novel, and that breaks my heart. Does it have to end predictably? Does it have to be the second coming of literature? It is so refreshingly human. We love Emma and Dexter, for all their faults, whether it is Emma's fear of chasing her dreams or Dexter's self-absorbed tendency to indulge in drink and women. We know they are good people, and we love who they are when they are together. The dialogue is also very clever and snappy, and at times laugh-out-loud hilarious. From there, we wander into weepy and reflective territory. But above all, this is a testament to friendship, about believing in each other no matter how many bad mistakes are made, no matter how obnoxious the behaviour, no matter how weak the will.

The story begs for the silver screen, and someone in Hollywood has obliged. Slated for a third quarter 2011 release, it will star Anne Hathaway (not a fan, sorry) and Jim Sturgess (Across the Universe). I've found a picture of Hathaway on the set of the movie. What do you think? Time will tell if they'll get it right, but if they don't, this will be a massively missed opportunity. In the meantime, readers, friends, read this book. Now.












5 out of 5 stars


27 comments:

Melody said...

I got this book after reading several rave reviews on it! I'm glad you enjoyed it too!

farmlanebooks said...

I loved Starter for Ten (the book and the film) and so got this book very soon after its release. I then saw lots of negative reviews and so decided not to read it. A few positive reviews have come along recently, but I stil haven't been convinced. We tend to share reading taste though, so I'm really pleased that you've given it 5 stars. I think I'll give it a try now. I hope I love it as much as you did.

Nymeth said...

I love those comfy blanket sort of books. Predictability is one of those things that I REALLY don't mind in certain types of stories. Sure, we've seen it all before, but that can actually add to that comfort factor.

Jessica said...

I loved this book and gave it a rave review which was going against the grain somewhat at the time (two months ago) I didnt care though I still loved it and I stil wanted them to end up together.

Beth F said...

Sometimes predictability, great characters, and a good story are the perfect mix. I'll have to look for this.

JoAnn said...

I love that this shows a snapshot of the same day each year! Sounds like a great book...and the type of movie I'd love, too!

caite said...

Oh my, another in my TBR pile.
I really, really have to stop going to the library and buckle down on that pile. There appear to be gems in here...at least according to Sandy.

Julie P. said...

Just finished this one last week and LOVED it! I can't even tell you how hard I cried.

Molly said...

Well, not sure how this one has dropped off my radar, but your review is the first that I have read, and obviously, I now HAVE to read the book!

I am a fan of Anne Hathaway, so that actually compels me to read the book even more :)

rhapsodyinbooks said...

gosh, I didn't even know about this book. Now I must read it! I just obtained the first de los Santos book, so I am looking forward to that, but will definitely be on this one next!

bermudaonion said...

I've got to get hold of this book! I loved When Harry Met Sally and Same Time Next Year!! Great review!

Zibilee said...

I haven't seen When Harry Met Sally, but I don't think that would stop me from really enjoying this book. I find the idea of a friendship like this incredibly romantic and would like to see just how it play out for myself. It sounds like a really great book, and once I am done with it, I can watch When Harry Met Sally and compare!! Thanks for the very enthusiastic review, your love for the book is clear!

Care said...

OK, off to go add this to the tbr...

Willa said...

It sounds like a really great book. Have looked at it several times and really enjoyed Starter for Ten so don't know why I haven't tried it out yet. Think I will have to now.

heidenkind said...

You had me at When Harry Met Sally. :)

Not a big fan of Anne Hathaway, either.

Kathleen said...

This is already on my list and I know it will be good after reading your review!

Jenners said...

I'm with you on this one ... I loved the messiness of it. How it doesn't work out just perfectly. I loved how Nicholls pulls the rug out from under you at the end. And I loved the laugh out loud moments (I'm thinking of Dexter taking care of the baby by himself here). It was a good fun read with a catchy premise that totally works.

And you remind me that I need to write my review for it. Agh.

I'm curious about the film version too.

Iliana said...

Oh I like the sound of this one. Sure, it may be a bit on the light side but it just sounds like a fun read and there is nothing wrong with that! I'm adding it to my list. And, I can pretty much say that's probably a movie I'd love to go see with my girlfriends. Sounds perfect.

Jenny said...

Hmmm, you definitely make this sound enticing!! I will get to it eventually because I'm sure I'll want to see the movie but I have to read the book first lol!

S. Krishna said...

I have read such varied reviews of this one, it makes me want to read it even more! Glad you enjoyd it!

Serena said...

sounds a little predictable, but that can be good for a nice summer read...not too much thinking involved.

Jennifer @ Mrs. Q: Book Addict said...

I haven't heard of this one, but it sounds really great. I think there is talent in all types of novels. I don't believe that everyone novels has to be written as a potential Pultizer Prize novels. Some novels I just want to relax, enjoy and be entertained.

Pam Ripling said...

I'm glad to hear you mention the film Same Time, Next Year. Love, love, love it! This book sounds like something I'd love, too. Will download it to my nook!

Carrie K. said...

I loved, loved, loved this one, too. :)

Lauren said...

I JUST reserved this from the library a few days ago. So glad you loved it! I've really heard some good reviews - and if Nick Hornby approves of it, so do I. I'm more excited now! (Also, I love Sturgess, so of course I'll see the movie.)

Alice Teh said...

No, it doesn't have to end predictably. I love how you ask those questions. Another book to add to my list. I think I'll get on Kindle!

Melissa M said...

I haven't heard of this one before, but a 5 star review from you makes me add it to my list for sure!