You Have to Read: “One Day” by David Nicholls

August 7, 2011

Right now I feel like I’m made of brownie. Gooey, warm and a tiny bit sad. (Does chocolate taste melancholy to anyone but me?)

Only really good love stories give me this feeling. And I just finished one. It’s called One Day, by David Nicholls.

I just finished the book in a bubble bath (I’ve got to stop doing these, you should see all the library books I’ve ruined), and the ending was so good that even though my water drained and I was sitting in a chilly, empty tub for the last 10 pages I couldn’t move. I had to finish it.

Now that’s a story.

I was drawn to this book by its concept. It is the story of a relationship between two people, Emma and Dexter. But this isn’t your average boy meets girl. Instead of telling what happened (A), which led to (B) and ultimately ended in (C), this story is told over a 20 year span, but only on one day of every year, July 15.

I loved the feeling of being thrown into the story, every July 15, and being made to figure out what was going on. I loved how witty and interesting the characters were. And I loved how real it felt. This is the story not only of a relationship, but of how life turns out different than you’d always imagined. And how you cope with the expectations of who you once thought you’d be.

A couple of lines made my heart stop. More than a few made me laugh. And all of it entertained me. I couldn’t put it down. It was unexpected and refreshing and delightful and…gritty. Did I use that word yet?

But don’t take my word for it, check out this review by Tony Parsons:

A totally brilliant book about the heart breaking gap between the way we were and the way we are… The best weird love story since The Time Traveler’s Wife. Every reader will fall in love with it. And every writer will wish they had written it.

I can tell you one thing, this writer sure wishes she’d written it.


11 thoughts on “You Have to Read: “One Day” by David Nicholls

  1. Cammy Shosted

    Loved it too! Although it took me about 75 pages or so before I liked Emma, and Dexter didn’t ever completely grow on me. The book made me laugh and it actually even made me cry (more than I’d like to admit- I’ll blame the pregnancy hormones). So much to discuss at bookclub. :)

  2. laurajones143

    I’m so glad you read it in time for the movie on Aug 19 – which will be different from the book, they always are, but an equally wonderful entertainment experience!

    -a faithful reader of your Dad’s, but an instant fan of you & this blog!

  3. Jacqueline

    Thanks for the recommendation, Jenna! Making a trip to the bookstore & library tomorrow morning. Loved The Time Travelers Wife & I am looking for a good book to take to the lake…of course, Michael Vey will be travelling with me also. =)

  4. Chrystal

    Standing at the book store with a million options in front of me and I knew instantly what I had to do – check The Green Lemon for a book recommendation. I brought it home with me and will begin tonight! Thank you!

  5. rachel j

    So glad you are sharing book recommendations. My book club will thank you! Have you read “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet”? I don’t know if it’s any good, but that’s what we’re reading this month. I’ll let you know….

  6. Pingback: Deliciously Girly: Nine Chick Lit Novels I Loved | The Green Lemon

  7. Jacqueline

    Just found One Day at the thrift store & started reading it last night. I am loving it! The funny thing is that although I have never met you, Jenna, when I am reading about Emma she reminds me of you…similar to the wit & humor you write in your blog. =)


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