I bought One Day by David Nicholls after hearing about it on The TV Book Club. The book follows the lives of Dexter and Emma over twenty years, each chapter being a year in their lives. Dexter and Emma meet at a party on graduation night at University and spend the night together. Dexter a young man, good looking, with an air of confidence. Emma a social rebel who wants to go out and change the world, although she’s not sure how too.
The book proceeds to go through their lives. Emma initially getting lost after leaving university, mean while Dexter becomes a TV presenter and gets in to the recreational drug scene. As the years go by Dex meets a woman and settles down having a child, whereas Emma finds her way becoming a Teacher, which eventually leads her to her dream of writing books. However along the way there are many twists and turns and you begin to think of the story as “will-they-wont-they” get together. Life seems to be drawing them together, yet there are several missed opportunities, a lot like real life. It’s so obvious to us reading the story that they are right for each other, yet how come they don’t see it?
You begin to care for Dex and Em or Em and Dex (as Dexter describes them). This is because you see them grow as individuals, dealing with what life throws at them, recognising their vulnerabilities as ones we all have, along with their strengths that pull them through. David Nicholls describes the settings, scenes and what happens with a mix of realism and airy romance, which makes it a compelling read.
Dubbed by many critics as a “modern classic love story”, I tend to agree. It is a story of love over two decades, describing how life can get in the way of love, but in the end love will win over life. The book made me laugh, reflect over times in my own life, and even cry. I do think this book will be a classic love story that will be around for many years to come and be just as relevant then as it is today.