If there's a saying to sum it all up, it would be that quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Life is a journey, not a destination."
One day for each year. We get to glimpse Emma and Dexter and their status of friendship or relationship whichever comes on first, from the day they first met through a number of succeeding years.
Nicholls wrote this book focusing more on character development which invariably helps to explain the emotional journey of both to each other. This probably wouldn't be for those who read to escape and seek ideal romance (I wouldn't even call this under romance) for this is but a reflection of the bitter reality we are living. It touches on their own disappointments, issues and triumphs in their own lives like any normal post-graduation adults (e.g frustration with career, purpose of living, passions, etc).
To say the book is pretty normal is not accurate either and since this is fiction, authors may feel the need to put an extra flair to it, especially at the end. There's a tension to the writing which almost makes you rankle, like when you thought the two seemed on the brink of getting their shit together, things just go awry as if the fates are pulling out tricks up its sleeve (but isn't life a bit like that sometimes?). Told in a sequence of a time frame, we are shown how each grows up and come into their own. Although there's a break on the latter part when bits of their first meeting are interposed with their later years, it served to heighten the special connection this two have. I must say, that last moment of their first day together is probably the sweetest thing in the book.
To me, honestly, I think it is about human nature, the tendency to take things and people for granted, the winding ways the mind traps men and women to meander their lives away to almost end in pointlessness, to be blind of certain emotional truths and, if even realized, choose to avoid it. Also, it is mostly about missing chances and connection, about missing people. That people come and go in our lives and if we don't hold them fast enough, they begin to drift away like ghosts of the past.
In some ways, it doesn't bolster the readers to believe in true love but rather of seizing fleeting moments, momentous ones, for these give color to life and not certainty.
Emma and Dexter 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 that follows?
Twenty years, two people, ONE DAY.
Title: One Day
Author: David Nicholls
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Rating: ♨♨♨ (3 cups - Spattered with nineties London references, this book is tinged with realism, of the passion of the young and the steadiness of adulthood. An awakening read among the usual contemporary romance.)