One Day

cover of one day by david nichollsDavid Nicholl’s very buzzy new novel One Day got some of its inspiration from Billy Bragg’s evocative song “St. Swithin’s Day.” It’s the kind of song that stays with you and one you should watch or listen to right now if you don’t know it. Here are links to a Bragg performance and a Dubstar cover that I just love.

July 15th, St. Swithin’s Day, has special significance in One Day. It is on this day in 1988 that we meet Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew, who hook up on the night of their college graduation. We meet them year after year for the next 20 years.

Emma is a wonderful character–a young woman who is serious, self-deprecating, has aspirations to better the world, and is beautiful and doesn’t know it. Dexter is handsome, the kind of person to whom things come easy, and his job as a TV presenter plunges him into a never-ending buffet of sex, drugs and shallow emotional development. But through life’s ups and downs there is always Em and Dex, Dex and Em. They are friends and confidantes, but could they be more?

Nicholls’ novel is already in production as a film and his novel A Question of Attraction was turned into the film “Starter for Ten.”

One Day is rife with little Gen-X period details that make Emma and Dexter feel like friends. The structural conceit is fun and leaves you wanting more of both characters. One Day is a summer read that is surprisingly complex and satisfying. It’s a story about love, friendship, destiny and the little decisions and days that comprise our lives.

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About the Author:

Misha Stone is a readers' advisory librarian with The Seattle Public Library. Follow her on Twitter at @ahsimlibrarian.

3 Comments on "One Day"

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  1. linda.johns@spl.org' LindaJ says:

    I LOVED this book. I’m pretty sure I’ve missed some of the Brit pop references, but there was so much that was relatable about the setting, the time period and the intense friendship/love of these two characters. I felt like I knew them both so well. At times I felt like I WAS each of them. Now I’m a little obsessed with the casting for the film.

  2. misha says:

    Thanks, Linda! I am also obsessed about the film and can’t wait for the soundtrack. Kula Shaker’s “Govinda” or “Tattva” and definitely Pulp’s “Bar Italia.”

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