Kate's Reviews > One Day

One Day by David Nicholls
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Apr 25, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: reviewed

It's easy to see why this book has been such a commercial success. The premise of the book is very clear, to the point of being gimmicky. That, along with an established popular name like David Nicholls must be a publisher's dream. Still, it rises above the sort of books it sits alongside in Asda.

The style of the prose took a little getting used to for me; it is mostly in the sparse yet lyrical style that I enjoy, but sometimes slips into an over-indulgence of description. Some people love this in their novels, I don't. There's a fine line (and I'm aware it's a very subjective one) between descriptiveness and purple prose; in One Day, Nicholls hovers on this line, occasionally straying over either side of it.

None of this really matters, though, because the core of this novel is its lead characters, Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew, who seem as real to me now as people I actually know - as real as myself. The joy and pain of their story has stayed with me beyond my initial reading of the novel, which proves to me that it's one worth reading.

I hovered around giving this one five stars, but I couldn't quite do it, because of my aforementioned problems with the quality of the prose, but this really is a fantastic book: readable beach fair but of a better quality than is usually thrust at the masses, with engaging characters and a story that sticks with you.

As a lightly jaded 20-something I really connected with the characters in their post-university years. I'll be interested to see how the book fairs on re-reads in years to come.
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