Thursday, February 23, 2012

One Day by David Nicholls

One Day

"I can imagine you at forty,’ she said, a hint of malice in her voice. ‘I can picture it right now.’
He smiled without opening his eyes. ‘Go on then.’" (from One Day)

15th July 1988. Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways.So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that? And every year which follows?One Day is a funny/sad love story spanning twenty years, a book about growing up – how we change, how we stay the same.
(summary from website:

In 1988, Emma Morley wants to change the world. Dexter Mayhew wants to enjoy it and travel for a few years before he gets a real job. She is a feminist and wants women to be seen as equal to men in the workplace. Her true calling, as she discovers is to be a writer. Yet she fails at plays (directing and acting), short stories, poems, and books. She works at a Mexican restaurant, where she meets Ian Whitehead. Then she works as a teacher, during which she has a dangerous affair with the principle. She's unemployed for a while. Then she moves to Paris and gets published big. Meanwhile, Dexter travels, works on tv, becomes an alcoholic, gets his girlfriend pregnant and gets married to her, has a daughter, fails at being a father, becomes divorced. Then he goes to Paris to see Emma. Where they have some hot romance, move back to Edinburgh, and try to have a life together. I'm going to run this book right now, so skip the next sentence. Emma dies. This really ticks me off, because she had so much to offer the world. I liked her so much better than Dexter, who I really really didn't like. That's like saying I only liked half the novel, and I guess so. I hope Emma Morley wrote a better book than this one. Suffice to say, I didn't hate it until I got done with it. It's one of those book, which I'm really starting to despise. In truth, this novel is beautifully written, and I thought the form (of only seeing one day) worked really well. Yet, the characters were annoying and failed to see the consequences of their choices, even as adults. They never really grew up. Finally, I just want to say that this book is a sad sad sad love story, that might not even be true love, and certainly doesn't have a happy ending.