It’s 1988 and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley have only just met. But after only one day together, they cannot stop thinking about one another. Over twenty years, snapshots of that relationship are revealed on the same day—July 15th—of each year. Dex and Em face squabbles and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. And as the true meaning of this one crucial day is revealed, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself.
-Barnes & Noble
One Day is one of those novels that you either love or you hate, and I must admit that this is not a novel that I would go back to. But despite the previous, I believe that it is a novel that should be read. It's not horrible in terms of content, or writing. I give Nicholl's many props for creating a fitting semi-omnipresent narrator peeking into aspects of each characters lives at the perfect time. His dialogue is engrossing, and pretty flawless, actually. There were hilarious moments that really boosted it's morale a bit, and then there were disheartening bits that really gutted you after reading. When I first started, I did not want to put it down. I loved the tone of it. It took a lifetime to read, and I literally felt as if I had lived through each wonderful and tank worthy moment in each characters' life. It was chock full of details, and by the end of it you definitely know these characters through and through.
My challenge with the novel comes with the characters, or really, just one...Dexter. I wanted to love him, and with the way Nicholls' paints him, you understand, to an extent, why he's so prone to idiotic decisions and has a seeming callous nature. Nevertheless, as the novel progressed, I couldn't stop wanting to smack him upside the face with something hard and bulky. Emma had her frustrating moments as well, but I felt I could relate to her more as she too is a struggling writer trying to figure her place in life. It was pretty hilarious, at certain points, to observe Dexter try and figure out what his feelings were for Emma, as well as his slip ups with her time and time again. I'm not sure if I were Emma, I could endure Dexter's erratic, arrogant, and oftentimes condescending behavior. It was a bit too much.
The conclusion is a scene that truly takes your breath away. I never pictured it ending this way, but it definitely causes you to wonder if you are appreciating the people in your life, and not taking their help, support, and love for granted.
Bottom line, I would say, read the novel. It's hard points read true to reality, and this could be perhaps, why it was so hard for me to enjoy the ride. I would love to discuss your thoughts!
The film, on the other hand...didn't even come close to the novel. Of course, this is probably true with most film adaptations, but I had a problem with connecting to the characters. It seems the film tried to squeeze their entire lives, and ended up leaving out really awesome parts, and rushing through significant years. Jim Sturgess portrayed Dexter to a tee! I knew this because from the moment he popped onto the screen I couldn't STAND him. I wanted to punch his cocky little smirks off of his face, and scream, 'Show Emma some respect, for crying out loud!' Anne Hathaway also portrayed Emma very effectively. She brought out Emma's sarcastic deadpans, and wit. I'm not sure about her accent, but I'm not the authority on such things. Even after spending a year in the UK, I can't even say what an accurate Yorkshire accent is. The film was merely okay.
I give One Day three out of five cups of Earl Grey.
I give the film adaptation a two and a half out of five cups of Earl Grey.
(This might be the meanest I'll ever review...hopefully!)