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One Day [Paperback]

David Nicholls
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 15 2010 Vintage Contemporaries
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.

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"[An] instant classic. . . . One of the most hilarious and emotionally riveting love stories you’ll ever encounter." —People

“Big, absorbing, smart, fantastically readable." —Nick Hornby, from his blog
"[Nicholls] has a gift for zeitgeist description and emotional empathy that's wholly his own. . . . [A] light but surprisingly deep romance so thoroughly satisfying." —Entertainment Weekly

“Nicholls offers sharp dialogue and wry insight that sounds like Nick Hornby at his best.” —The Daily Beast (A Best Book of the Summer)

"Fluid, expertly paced, highly observed, and at times, both funny and moving." —Boston Globe

"Those of us susceptible to nostalgic reveries of youthful heartache and self-invention (which is to say, all of us) longed to get our hands on Nicholls’s new novel. . . . And if you do, you may want to take care where you lay this book down. You may not be the only one who wants in on the answers." —New York Times Book Review

"Who doesn’t relish a love story with the right amount of heart-melting romance, disappointment, regret, and huge doses of disenchantment about growing up and growing old between quarreling meant-to-be lovers?" —Elle, Top 10 Summer Books for 2010

“A great, funny, and heart-breaking read.” —The Early Show [CBS]

"Funny, sweet and completely engrossing . . . The friendship at the heart of this novel is best expressed within the pitch-perfect dialogue/banter between the two." —Very Short List

“A wonderful, wonderful book: wise, funny, perceptive, compassionate and often unbearably sad . . . the best British social novel since Jonathan Coe’s What a Carve Up!. . . . Nicholls’s witty prose has a transparency that brings Nick Hornby to mind: it melts as you read it so that you don’t notice all the hard work that it’s doing.” —The Times (London)
“Just as Nicholls has made full use of his central concept, so he has drawn on all his comic and literary gifts to produce a novel that is not only roaringly funny but also memorable, moving and, in its own unassuming, unpretentious way, rather profound.” —The Guardian (London)

About the Author

David Nicholls trained as an actor before making the switch to writing. He is the author of two previous novels—Starter For Ten and The Understudy. He has also written many screenplays for film and television, including the feature film adaptation of Starter For Ten. He lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love is under your nose... Feb. 20 2011
... and you don't know it. Emma and Dexter. It's the 15th July 1988 in London. They meet and like each other, but they will have to part tomorrow. The unusual choice by the author to write each chapter describing every 15th July after that, until near-present day, is quite captivating.

So many reviews have been written already that I would only like to add my praise to the author for a brilliant and compelling story. Emma and Dexter, along with a few peripheral characters (some more in the picture than others), are entirely believable. I loved Emma's good-natured personality, I would have liked to jump into the book a few times and shake Dexter's insecurity-often-bordering-arrogance out of him and often it felt like really "being" there.

A well structured narrative delivers funny, realistic, moving moments depending on circumstances. An unusual, engaging love story. Well done to David Nicholls. My true vote: 4.5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'When Harry Met Sally,' with a shot of reality Jan. 2 2012
By M
I was actually surprised to see all of the negative reviews.

In my opinion, this is an amazing book--so layered and so touching, at its heart it's really about two people--one friendship, one love--and the ways in which it changes, and remains unchanged, over time. The concept of revisiting these characters one day a year, over a span of many years, makes for an incredibly interesting read. And although the ending is bittersweet (without giving too much away), it is strangely and utterly satisfying.

Just through reading this book, I can tell that this was truly a labour of love for the author. It is both beautifully and thoughtfully written the whole way through, up to the very end. There are times you will laugh, cry, roll your eyes and find yourself completely gripped with anticipation. You may not completely relate to, or understand the bond between Emily and Dexter, but you will grow to care very deeply about it.

All and all it is probably one of the best books I have ever read. It is definitely not chick lit, or pure romance--it is a straight, honest and realistically complex story about people and the impact they have on each others lives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Day - Loved this Book! Aug. 10 2011
I was look for a new book to read while I was on call for work. My most recent read was "The Help" which I loved and I was on the hunt for something equally light that I could immerse myself into and read through quickly.

The story is about Emma Morley and her best friend Dexter Mayhew. They meet at an after grad university party. They talk about their life ambitions, what they want to do, who they want to become, what the future will be like, etc. The book follows their relationship over a 20 year period - on the same day each year. July 15th, 1988, July 15th, 1999 - etc. You get to follow their relationship and their lives and read about how it unfolds. Sometimes as they expected, and true to real life - how it's no expected. You know how it is when we are young. We dream of what life will be like when we get older. We want to travel the world - we want to be doctors, lawyers, make a change in the world, leave a lasting impression, etc. Emma and Morley had dreams. Were the same dreams they held at 18 the same dreams they held 20 years later? Are yours?

The author had my attention right from chapter one. I couldn't put it down. I became infatuated with the characters - needing to read more, craving to know what happened next. I finished the book in 2 days. I don't want to give anything away about how it ended but I will say that this book has made it's way to my favorites.

If you are looking for a new book to read - then consider giving this one a shot. It will change the way you think about friendships, relationships and life. You may also feel a strong urge to re-connect with old friends you haven't spoken to in years. :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A WONDERFULLY ELEGIAC NOVEL July 23 2011
Several months ago, I purchased this novel. But it was only 3 weeks ago that I began to read it. From the moment I read the initial chapter which features the bedroom scene with Dexter ("Dex") and Emma ("Em") on the night after they both had graduated from university (July 15th, 1988), I WAS HOOKED. I developed such a deep empathy for both of them, though I was especially partial to Emma, who came from a humbler background compared to Dex.

Nicholls' plot device of focussing on the lives of both Dex and Em through the prism of July 15th from 1988 was very clever. I liked being able to see how both their lives developed over time.

As someone who graduated from college in 1986, I strongly identified with Dex and Em, because they are roughly of the same generation as myself. (There was one song that played itself in my mind like a refrain as I read deeply into this novel --- and it was, "SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD (Someone's Thinking of You)" by the UK band Swing Out Sister.)

"One Day" is representative of the best novels that evoke a welter of emotions that will make the reader hearken back to his/her salad days and smile.
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5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT Sept. 23 2011
I adored this book for so many reasons one of them being that I'm a sucker for a tragedy. It was brilliant in every way; making me laugh and cry while filling me with nostalgia and longing. And because I'm the same age as Dexter and Emma the time frame here was also totally relatable with little details I had forgotten about from the past two decades.

ONE DAY is equal parts heartbreaking and hilarious yet also suspenseful as each chapter takes place a year to the day after the last one so you have to figure out what's happened in that time between. And of course you want the H/h to get together so you're waiting with bated breathe for them to finally "see" each other too. In the end this also made me want to seize the day like it's my last, phone up all my long lost friends and lovers and look at old photographs. Hmmm and I haven't even gotten into the genius of the writing yet (how do you put that into words?)

I knew that writing a review here was going to be difficult (when you love a book this much there doesn't seem to be enough correct words to do it justice) and I promised myself to just keep this short and to the point so here goes... This is one of the most hilarious, perceptive, witty, moving and heartbreaking books I have ever read.

Told in 5 parts in alternating POV's and over a span of twenty years Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley meet in 1988. Em has just graduated from university and hooked up with that boy she's seen around for ages. He is Dexter, beautiful, pretentious and in his mind destined for greatness. As the sun rises they drink wine and talk about their futures. They have their whole lives stretching out ahead of them in an endless number of days and isn't it going to be wonderful they can achieve anything they want to.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Almost a "perfect" book. Hard to put down, the characters are so interesting.
Published 6 months ago by HJM
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Perfect!! I love it
Published 11 months ago by Xuqi Zhou
5.0 out of 5 stars A deep and fun book to read
A lot has been said and written a bout this book, so there is little to add. However, it lived up to the hype. Read more
Published on Feb. 27 2013 by John T C
5.0 out of 5 stars I love listening to my books
I am a multi-tasker in my craft to, And while I work I list to some great books. This is a great one.
Published on Dec 7 2012 by Dalene Whitehead
1.0 out of 5 stars shallow characters dominate
I slogged through this novel as a trusted friend had recommended it. I thought it would get better as I read on, but I found the characters unbelievably shallow and uninteresting. Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2012 by skippercares
5.0 out of 5 stars A deep and fun book to read
A lot has been said and written a bout this book, so there is little to add. However, it lived up to the hype. Read more
Published on Dec 12 2011 by Calixthe
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, Light, Fun Read
This was a book that had me wanting more. It's funny, sweet and so sad at the same time. I got really involved in Emma & Dexter's relationship, but their lives outside of one... Read more
Published on Oct. 26 2011 by VR
2.0 out of 5 stars All right
Book was OK. Much sadder than I was expecting based on all the fuss about it. I hate it when a book (or movie) is touted as being a comedy or rom-com when it is more "artsy" and... Read more
Published on Oct. 14 2011 by BNL fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Favourite!
This book was an easy, quick read. I couldn't put it down. I absolutely loved it and immediately recommended it to family and friends. I will read this again and again.
Published on Oct. 9 2011 by Heather
2.0 out of 5 stars ONE DAY
Published on Oct. 6 2011 by juno
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