Tuesday, December 3, 2013

One Day

Finished One Day by David Nicholls. Emily and Dexter, two very different young people, meet on the last night of university in Edinburgh. They have a somewhat amorous encounter and decide to just be friends. This happens on July 15th, St Swithin's day, 1988. The book then visits with them together and separately on the same day for the next twenty years, examining the very different paths their lives take.

Shy, awkward, bookish Emily works in a demoralizing job in a Mexican restaurant, then trains as teacher. Eventually she leaves teaching to start writing and pens a wildly successful series for tweens.

Handsome, rakish, irresponsible Dexter travels, teaches English abroad, then returns to England and becomes a TV personality, introducing vacuous late night pop shows. As his mother begins losing her battle with Cancer, Dexter sinks deeper in to a seedy and soused existence. His television assignments get worse and worse until he is the man viewers love to hate.

I won't say any more about the plot so as not to spoil it. I will say that this is in many ways a literary documentary. It's deeply felt and follows very much the same timeline as my own young adult life. Hence it really spoke to me. This is an excellent book.

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