One Day

It's Book Club Blogger day!

This month, Krystal of the lovely blog Village picked our book.  As if I needed one more reason to love Miss Krystal, she went and chose One Day by David Nicholls.

One Day follows the relationship of two people over a span of twenty years.  Dexter and Emma meet for the first time on the day of their college graduation.  Nicholls then brilliantly tracks the evolution of their relationship by checking in with the pair on the anniversary of their meeting, St Swithin's Day, for the remainder of the novel.

I really enjoyed every page of this book.  I found Nicholls writing style to be completely engaging.  I thought the plot structure was fun and found the yearly check in tool to be one that was new to me as a reader.  I immediately connected with both main characters.  And being relatively ignorant of English culture, other than what I've seen in the movies or on the "tele," (check it, I'm totally becoming an anglophile) the book felt like a mini holiday to a not so distant destination.

Truly though, for me, writing style and subject matter are important but to really lurve a book it has to touch me emotionally.  I'm less of a technical reader and more of an emotional one.  There is no question, One Day touched me.  I think the character's growth (or lack of growth) spoke to all of my multiple personalities.  Now, before you start prescribing meds, let me explain.  Emma's idealism and radical desire to change the world spoke to the 20 something girl that I often forget I no longer am.  Dexter's aimless travels reminded me of how lost I felt after my own college graduation.  Uncertain of how to be a grown up or what to do with his life, Dexter packed his bags hoping to find answers anywhere but home.  The way Emma wondered what her "22 year old self would think of today's Emma..."  That is a thought I have probably once a month, if not once a week.  Dexter's self destructive thirst for accolades and "fun" that inevitably lead to despair and embarrassment courtesy of his professional binge drinking.  Each incident was a reminder of where I no longer live. Emma's realization that her life which lacked some of the "exclamation marks and underlining," might not have the intensity she once thrived upon but was comfortable and satisfying just the same. The ability to personally connect with the characters made One Day incredibly appealing and thoroughly moving.

I found Nicholls' story to be bittersweet and satisfying.  Even when the reader ultimately gets what is promised from the first page, One Day doesn't offer up the expected, fairytale ending.  Instead, Nicholls provides beauty and hope mixed in with his character's sorrow.  It proved to be an intoxicating and enjoyable read that I would absolutely recommend.

For more opinions, you should check out The Daily Snapshot for this month's Book Club Blogger reviews.

In related news, have you heard the movie adaptation of the book is set to be released by Focus Features this Fall 2011?  Anne Hathaway & Jim Sturgess will play "Em & Dex, Dex & Em."

{Sturgess image}

I feel like the casting department did a really decent job.
But what do you think?