Sunday, February 6, 2011

book talk: One Day by David Nicholls

My book club picked David Nicholls's One Day for our January book. What a doozy. As a book club filled with ladies in our mid-twenties, it was quite a sob-fest.

[This contains spoilers! You've been warned.]

I wasn't too keen on the book when I finished, but after the discussion at our meeting, I realized it actually was better than I thought.

The reader visits the main characters, Emma and Dexter, on the same day every year -- July 15, or St. Swithin's Day.

What we've got on the surface is a classic will-they, won't they story? Emma, the female lead, is a strong-wille, idealistic character who leaves college with high hopes, but spends years working as a waitress in a cheesy Mexican restaurant. Dexter's career peaks early, and as a TV announcer he gains a center amount of fame. As Dexter's career begins to plummet, Emma's takes off. She writes a series of successful books for teens, and grows into her ideals in a reasonable way.

I don't want to ruin the romance for you. It's fun, lighthearted and somehow heartbreaking at the same time. Dexter goes down, down, down, and sometimes it's hard as a reader to follow him into the trenches. The ending is infuriating enough to make you want to punch a puppy, and my fiance came to check on me because he heard me hyperventilating from the other room. A puddle of tears collected where my neck meets my collarbone. One of the lovers dies -- EEEK! -- just when their relationship is starting to become adult, honest.

I normally won't touch a romance book without turning my nose up in disgust. I thought that I would absolutely hate this book. And though I certainly hated parts, it is very well written and quite a page turner.

What are your thoughts on One Day?

For those that have read the book, a movie is in the works, with Anne Hathaway as Emma and Jim Sturgess as Dexter. Since I live in LA now and am surrounding by film-speak, are you happy with the actors cast as leads?