Rating: 3.5 out of 5
I read One Day by David Nicholls a year ago, after reading a stellar review in People magazine. This book, it claimed, was the next buzzworthy thing. And now that the film version starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess will be released tomorrow, the buzz has been building once again.
The story’s design is its best attribute. The novel follows the relationship of Emma and Dexter, two Brits who graduated from Edinburgh University on July 15, 1988. Each chapter takes place on that very day, for twenty years, so you learn about their lives in only a handful of moments.
Emma’s career builds slowly, moving from waitressing to teaching to writing novels, whereas Dexter skyrockets as a famous TV host, but then loses popularity and slips down the entertainment social ladder. He also suffers from drug and alcohol abuse, and Emma grows weary of picking up his pieces.
Nicholls is a wonderful writer, and although Emma is much more likable, you find yourself yearning for their re-connection. Beware though, this is not a happily-ever-after story. The couple spends most of their years apart, with other people, and the ending is abruptly tragic. I was not as dissatisfied with the end as I was with Mockingjay, probably because you get more attached after three books than one. Also, Nicholls never makes life overly hopeful or optimistic, just true to reality. And reality is full of unhappy relationships, emotional baggage, and bad timing.
I was glad to hear that the author was also in charge of writing the film’s screenplay. I hate that they cast Anne Hathaway (even though she is excellent in her own right), because her attempt at a British accent is horrible. I’ll still see the film eventually, but I know that I better bring my tissues because this one ought to be a cry-fest.
If you’d like a unique love story and don’t mind a sad, literally-hit-you-out-of-nowhere ending, then pick up this book. And if you see the movie, tell me what you thought!