One Day: Book summary and reviews of One Day by David Nicholls

One Day

By David Nicholls

One Day

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Book Summary

Paperback Original. It's 1988 and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley have only just met. They both know that the next day, after college graduation, they must go their separate ways. But after only one day together, they cannot stop thinking about one another. As the years go by, Dex and Em begin to lead separate lives—lives very different from the people they once dreamed they'd become. And yet, unable to let go of that special something that grabbed onto them that first night, an extraordinary relationship develops between the two.
 
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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Reviews

Media Reviews

With a nod to When Harry Met Sally, this funny, emotionally engaging third novel from David Nicholls traces the unlikely relationship between Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew... . Told with toe-curlingly accurate insight and touching observation ... If you left college sometime in the eighties with no clear idea of what was going to happen next, or who your lifelong friends might turn out to be, this one's a definite for your holiday suitcase. If you didn't, it still is." - Daily Mail (UK)

"[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)

"[One Day] will leave you hungrily eating up the words. At times, you will experience 'can't breathe' laughter, then 'publicly embarrassing' sobs. Whatever emotion, all will feel uncontrollable; precisely like the lives of the characters you so badly want to see end up together." - Seattle Post Intelligencer

"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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Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Cloggie Downunder
a marvellous novel
One Day is the third novel by British author, screenwriter, and actor, David Nicholls. The day referred to in the title is St. Swithin’s Day, July 15th, and the narration describes what is happening in the lives of two people, Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley, each year on that day as well as referring to significant events of the preceding year. Emma and Dexter are first encountered on the day after their graduation and are followed through twenty years of life: relationships, career highs and lows, personal crises, addictions, weddings, marriages, divorces, extramarital affairs, parenthood, resounding successes and abysmal failures, loss of significant family members, loneliness, cohabitation and physical ageing all feature. Apart from straight narration, Nicholls uses letters (sent and unsent), poems, phone messages and newspaper articles to tell the story, and he cleverly creates the feel of the period with songs, books, movies, TV shows, world affairs, politics and sports. It all feels very real. Dexter and Emma have lots of depth and appeal; the supporting characters are likewise interesting. Nicholls manages to evoke plenty of laughter, but also tears (occasionally at the same time!) as well as groans and sighs. He also packs a punch that will leave the reader gasping. This is a marvellous novel that will have readers searching out other works by David Nicholls.

Rated 2 of 5 of 5 by Sharon G.
One Day
The story of Emma and Dexter is complicated and very, very sad. They never seemed happy throughout the book, even when they were together. There were a few funny moments, but most of it was depressing.

If you want to read a book about immaturity and bad relationships this is the one for you.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Shyeyes
One Day by David Nicholls
This book starts out in the late 80's with Emma & Dexter having a romantic interlude the day after their commencement. They each thought of each other over the years, the what-ifs. The author takes us to each of them on July 15th every year after their initial meeting til 2007. We see what their lives have become. Will they meet again? A great story about star-crossed lovers.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by someone
wow
I cried lots, but I totally loved the book. It's amazing!!!!!

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