sophie didn't do anything at all.

Monday, 27 January 2014

/ book / review / One Day - David Nicholls

Books and I have a vey strange relationship. It's part of the reason I prefer the physical form to a Kindle - because when I read I feel like it's speaking to me.

One Day book cover
God that sounds pretentious.

What I mean is that as I read a book, I'm also affected by my real life, and the book 'holds' on to the associated occurrences. So. Whilst reading One Day for the first time I also went through a break-up. An unpleasant break-up. One that hurt a lot.

So. I feel now is the time to point out it took me until the trailer for the film to come out to realise that each chapter was a year apart on the same day - I'm quite slow I guess. It does say it on the cover. And the back. And on pretty much every page.

Right lets get down to spoilers.

One Day book review

So, set on the same day over twenty days, the action of One Day follows the lives of two characters - Emma and Dexter. They spend one night together in the first chapter, but remain fairly un-intmate for the book - two people made for one another who manage to avoid their fate.

The reason I love this book is because there isn't just the one high. It's not constantly building and building - so you can't skip to the good bit. David Nicholls is relentless and remorseless, his skill shining through in the ability to create a plausible timeline.

Even through their bad times, Nicholls never loses our sympathy for his two protagonists, in part because the characterisation is so spot on and just true. You can really sympathise because they are making the same mistakes as everyone else (over and over). You also spend most of the story flippantly frustrated at their continual 'missing' of fate - the letter, the question, the wrong partner - and so on, but confident in their solid friendship... something you pray will never break.

I just want to say (though I have mentioned tears a fair bit in my recent posts) it's actually quite hard to get me properly going. That chapter - you'll know which I mean - broke me down the first time I read it and I had to take a break from the book for around 6 hours (about  how long it takes to wash my hair).

I feel like it's a book you can truly find a lot of yourself in. The credit is due definitely to David Nicholls and he does teach a lot of lessons in those pages. Especially about how if you give you number to a one night stand you're in for it.

love sophie


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