One Day is the story of two friends who meet as they are graduating college. The book follows them over the course of 20 years. What makes this book a bit different is that it follows them on the same day each year – July 15th. Emma and Dexter meet. They have a one-night stand and go their separate ways. Then they meet again. And become friends. And more.
This book is about all manner of relationships. Emma and Dexter start out as awkward friends. They become best friends, even though Dexter is a bit of an ass. He is egotistical and full of himself. He drinks too much and dates too much. He’s superficial and hard to like.
They each marry other people. And through the course of the book they go through everything you can think of. Death, birth and everything in between. I spent the first two-thirds of this book not really liking it. But then something happened and I started to like Dexter. Emma I liked then didn’t then did again. I think I liked them toward the end because David Nicholls made them human.
Emma and Dexter remind me of people I know. I think the thing about this book that I like is that Emma starts off as a saint and she becomes human. Dexter starts off as an ass and becomes likable. The beauty in this book is in how the characters work through their issues and try to accept each other as they are. A lesson that most of us do not learn.
I cannot say much about the ending because there are some plot twists that I do not want to give away. But I will say that it certainly caught me by surprise. The book is well-written and reads quickly. It’s certainly not the best book I’ve ever read, but I will say it’s not a waste of time to read it. There are some references to British pop culture that may throw you but if you read around them, the story flows well.