One Day  by David Nicholls #bookreview

One Day by David Nicholls #bookreview

Mar 06, 2024Sophie Hadley

Sophie Hadley Review:

One Day  by David Nicholls

David Nicholl’s “One Day” is a touching and amazingly written book, which tells the stories of two characters, Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew, over a span of two decades. Laid in the background of the late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century Britain, the novel chronicles the development of their relationship through a series of photographs that accompany the same day each year, July 15th.

In essence, “One Day” is a love, friends, and time story. Nicholls adroitly intertwines the lives of Emma and Dexter and sensitively posits them as complex and sometimes contradictory characters. Their journey from awkward university acquaintances to the trials and heartaches that they face in adult life is one that is highly relatable and heartwarming.

The unique aspect of “One Day” is the way in which narrative structure is used, allowing the reader to see how Emma and Dexter develop their friendship over 20 years. By following the same day every year, Nicholls makes a feeling of continuity and to get used to that makes the characters’ evolution and development ineffable. This instrument also helps to emphasize the small changes and nuances in their relationship, from the proximity and unity to the distance and estrangement.

The prose by Nicholls is both witty and touching, depicting the ups and downs of life in the same way. His words are witty and real, reflecting the ideas and feelings of his characters openly and effectively. By alternating Emma and Dexter’s perspectives, the readers are able to see what these two characters hope and worry about, what their dreams are, what they are afraid of, and what doubts and insecurities steer them.

One Day is a love story in essence, although it is anything but conventional as love stories go. The story of their life together is not the story of a perfect relationship, it is the story of misunderstanding, missed chances, and the ghosts of the past. Still, they have their weaknesses and misgivings, but their bond withstands, acting as a light of faith and fortitude through life in all its tribulations.

And yet, it would be a mistake to consider “One Day” as no more than a love story, as it is also a reflection on the immemorial element and the people who we turn into based on our choices and the events we made us through our lives. The author, Nicholls, skillfully investigates the issues of regret, redemption, and the need for purpose and happiness, allowing the readers to evaluate their own lives and relationships.

In summary, “One Day” is a touching and emotionally profound novel which presents the beauty and complexity of human linkage. Nicholls captures the reader with his strong characters, well-drawn narrative and sincere prose, leaving the audience with his masterpiece long after the last page was turned. Check out our other book reviews at sophiehadley.com

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