One Day is a general fiction novel by David Nicholls, recently adapted into a film. I gave this book 4/5 stars because of the literary feel of the writing style, as well as the set-up of the novel. It is a unique read that follows the characters Dexter and Emma for twenty years of their lives. Each chapter shows July 15, moving forward another year for each chapter and the reader only gets to glimpse a portion of their lives only on that day throughout the novel. Over time, we get to see how Emma moves from restaurant business, to writing plays and novels as well as teaching, a long process (as we see over many years). Dexter, on the other hand, is a show host on various television shows throughout the years, until he gets too old and starts to throw his life away.
The novel starts with Emma and Dexter having graduated college, and they have a sort-of one-night-stand. I say sort-of, because they do end up spending the next say together (which you see at the end of the novel) and also have obviously at least remained in touch for many years later. They see their relationship as “best friends,” being there for each other during their relationship problems or vacationing together to remember “old times” which refers to the single day they graduated college.
Eventually, Dexter gets one of the many girlfriends he has had pregnant. A shotgun wedding is in order, and a child changes Dexter’s life forever. The wedding does not last long when his wife, Sylvie, cheats on him with his rich best friend. Dexter finally gets over himself and realizes that Emma was a choice all along. When they life together, Dexter’s daughter is a major part of his life, and she absolutely loves Emma. As predicted, they get married and are trying so hard to have a child. A very unexpected (when I say unexpected, I mean that I as a reader had no idea that was coming) thing happens to one of them, and the last chapters give great insight about what it means to love and have children and share worldly experience.
I would say this book is worth reading at least once, so YES, you should read it. It is a novel that has characters that show how life really is. It shows the kinds of struggles many people deal with, including loneliness and loss, and what we as people tend to strive for in our lives.
I watched the movie as soon as I finished the book, and it ruined my image of the characters. Just avoid the movie. It tried to get the feel of each year on July 25, but it just didn’t have the same feel as the book. It is because of the format of the book that makes it a unique and interesting read in aw ay that a film cannot convey.