Tuesday, June 15, 2010

One Day. One Perfect Summer Read. . .

Today one of my favourite reads for summer goes on sale - David Nicholls' One Day. I wish I could accurately convey the complete charm of this story which dissects the lives of Emma and Dexter and how their relationship changes over twenty years. The story progresses more or less chronologically, with each chapter providing an illuminating snapshot of every succeeding July 15th. The two first meet in the form of a rather drunken encounter after graduation, and over the years they stay in touch as friends, even though Emma has more romantic - and lustful - hopes. As the years pass, we watch their careers and love lives fluctuate, and are privy to all the frustrations, jealousies and hurts that accompany any long term relationship. And only towards the end will we discover why July 15th is such an important date in their dual histories. One Day is one of those reads you just let yourself tumble into; it's romantic, funny, emotional (you'll need the occasional tissue), and sprinkled throughout are wonderful film and music references that will resonate with anyone who spent their formative years in the 1980s and 1990s. Nick Hornby or Jonathan Coe fans - this is definitely a book for you! Teenagers would love it.

I've been a fan of David Nicholls ever since becoming hooked on a wonderful television series called Cold Feet that he wrote for. It was a British "Thirtysomething" but much wittier, and there was such a warmth and humanity about the characters, especially when they screwed up, that you couldn't help falling in love with them while laughing at their follies. This same warmth is spread throughout this novel. If you enjoy the British humour of Richard Curtis movies like Four Weddings and A Funeral, or if you're a fan of last year's couple flick 500 Days of Summer, you'll really enjoy this novel.

A film is already in the works scheduled to release next year. Anne Hathaway is starring and while I can't really see her as Emma, I'm willing to suspend my disbelief if they keep the setting of the film in England and don't Americanize it, as so much of the self-deprecating humour really relies on a British sensibility. Jim Sturgess however is perfect as Dexter. The director is Lone Scherfig which bodes well - she directed An Education, one of my favorite movies from last year. To get a flavour of the book, you can watch various chapter trailers on the book's website here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I couldn't disagree more about One Day. I found it utterly charmless and people with a thoroughly unlikeable cast of self-absorbed whingers.

Here's my review: http://guiltyfeat.com/2010/07/10/one-day/ Let me know what you think.