This week’s book recommendation is One Day by David Nicholls. This book came out in 2009 and lasts 448 pages. I find a lot of books when they are being made into movies (I worked at a movie theater for years). This one is no exception. I saw a movie trailer and was interested and therefore went and read the book. I enjoyed the movie, but of course liked the book better. There are few movies that I tend to think are better than the book, but there are some. This movie stars Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess and the screenplay was written by David Nicholls himself.
This book has many mixed reviews and I feel it would be irresponsible of me not to give you a fair warning about this one. The book is a little depressing, but I think it does several good things that many might see as simply terrible. One of the main characters, Dexter, is kind of a dick. The other, Emma, is not entirely likable either. (This really makes you want to read it, right?) Hear me out. These characters aren’t great people and they don’t get treated terribly well either. They do, however, represent a more realistic portrayal of life than most fictional stories do. They don’t end up living the exact lives they dreamed. They don’t immediately notice their flaws (if at all). It is a story about youthful aspiration and compromises made throughout adulthood. The book spans 20 years and these two weave in and out of each other’s lives. They have good days and bad, but they are always drawn back toward each other.
Another aspect that drew me to the book was the structure. Each chapter effectively tells each character’s story for that year. Some years, the two characters don’t interact with each other at all. I wouldn’t consider this book a love story. Nor should you expect it to be one even though love and relationships do occur throughout. It focuses on loneliness and how we find our way in this strange world of ours.
Yes, this book does come with a warning, and I don’t think everyone will enjoy it. I do think it has the ability to resonate with some people, which is why I am recommending it.