One Day – David Nicholls

It’s been a while since I wrote a review, so that one day when I looked at my desk and saw five books (five, when did that happen?!) waiting there in a neat little pile I decided it was about time I said something about them before I forget. So there it is, I’m starting with the last book I finished.

One Day – David Nicholls

In my defense I have to say I didn’t choose this book. Some colleagues at work recommended it as an easy read (that, and also the fact that the term “chick-lit” was mentioned did ring a warning bell in my head which I chose to ignore) and one of them offered to lend it to me so I didn’t say no. I got bored about halfway but then having made it so far I decided to keep going in the hope that it will get better. It did, somewhere towards the end – there was a scene that made me feel something else other than annoyance and for that reason I’ll give it a 3 star rating instead of 2 (out of 5).

The book is about Emma and Dexter who spend a night together in their twenties, just after graduating from college. They remain friends for nearly twenty years, sharing events from their lives – fame, relationships, marriage, children, alcohol abuse and a thousand little details that make up a friendship. It is obvious that they are attracted to each other but the timing always seems to be off or they are unwilling to just come right out and say what they really feel. Their conversations have an edgy feel to them, being somewhere between amusing and annoying – sometimes it’s like watching a tennis match and trying to decide if they are playing a friendly game or they just want to win one no matter what.

The story flows along without major hiccups, there are even some references to books – Wuthering Heights is one but is not spoken about in flattering terms, Howards End is another – currently on my TBR pile but after reading A Room with a View I find myself reluctant to pick it up; a paragraph from Dickens’ Great Expectations makes and appearance right before Part One and there’s also one from Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

The reason why I stuck with the book to the end was that I wanted to see what happens – will they remain just friends or will they give love a chance? The end was unpredictable and I felt somehow rewarded for making it through to the last page.
The movie version was playing in the cinemas here not long ago but somehow I missed it. A friend said it was better than the book. Who knows, maybe I’ll watch it one day.

*Read in February 2012

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10 Responses to One Day – David Nicholls

  1. Caroline says:

    Too bad. I bought this because for one reason or the other I didn’t think it was chick lit. Hmm. I might read it anyway sooner or later but now I’m warned.
    You didn’t like A Room With a View? It is one of my all time favourites. I love all of his novels.

    • Delia says:

      Me and chick lit don’t go well together, and it’s not for want of trying. In this case I felt no connection with the characters. I did have a brief emotional moment towards the end but other than that…
      I hope you’ll enjoy the book when you get to read it.

      No, I didn’t like “A Room With a View” even though the idea it’s based on is interesting – I don’t even remember the reason why but it didn’t leave a favorable impression.

  2. Jenners says:

    I really like this book actually … and it didn’t quite end how I was expecting at all. I was totally surprised!

    • Delia says:

      That end saved the book for me. One of my friends was reading it and when she got close to the end she suddenly said “oh, no!” and when I asked what happened she wouldn’t tell me so I had to read the book to find out. It was unexpected, and good, not because of what happened but because I think the story would have been too flat otherwise.
      I’m glad you liked it.

  3. Aths says:

    I only watched the movie, and most of the story was predictable, but that ending! I literally went Oh crap! I didn’t see it coming. However I didn’t like it as much as you did – maybe because I felt manipulated. Still, I can see another message in the ending – to not just let life slip by but to grab what you want, or something like that.

    • Delia says:

      Yes, I liked that message as well and this one one of the reasons I felt annoyed with the characters – they were just going round and round in circles instead of giving it a try – to wait that long, what a waste!

  4. Vishy says:

    Glad to know that you liked the book, though you didn’t love it. The premise of the book is quite interesting. Hope you get to watch the movie version and like it. I love the cover of the edition of ‘The Moonstone’ that you read 🙂 I also love the fact that you are reading a collection of Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Will look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

    • Delia says:

      I just watched the trailer and it didn’t appeal to me that much. Maybe it’s because I didn’t think Anne Hathaway was the right choice for Emma. We’ll see.
      The Moonstone, now that was an amazing book. The funny thing is that it took me a while to notice that hand on the cover, for some reason it was invisible to my eyes. 🙂
      Ah, The Yellow Wallpaper, I loved that story, so when I saw a book by the same author I couldn’t resist. Have you read anything by her? So far, I like it very much. Her face reminds me of Virginia Woolf.

      • Vishy says:

        Yes that hand on the cover of ‘The Moonstone’ is invisible, like the secret letters in your header image 🙂

        I have read the short story ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ and a piece by Gilman where she explains why she wrote this story. I liked both of them. The story was quite scary in a very real way. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this book. Does it have only stories or does it also have some of her nonfiction pieces?

        • Delia says:

          I’m working on a review for Gilman’s book and your questions will be answered there so you’ll have to wait a little while. 🙂 What I can say right now is that I loved it and I would very much like to read her autobiography.

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