By David Nicholls
It’s 1988 and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley have only just met on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways. 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.
Twenty years, two people, one day.
This was a book I held off reading partially because I thought it was going to be amazing and partially because I thought it would break my heart.
It did neither.
I hated Dexter for honestly liked 3/4 of the book. And I didn’t care for Emma, who kept letting herself get dragged into situations she didn’t want to be in and then kept wondering what was happening to her and being depressed about it. Though I guess I should have known what I was in for with her when about 50 pages in Dexter tells her that he thinks she’s afraid to be happy.
We read this as our Valentine’s Day read for book club and geez, what a downer. I might have actually been sad and cried if I could have actually brought myself to care even a little bit about either character and what happens to them. I knew so, so much about them, but I just didn’t care.
I used to be a huge fan of British novels. But I’m pretty sure there’s a stipulation now: British Novels written prior to 1900. It seems the modern thing in British literature is just to cram way too much freakin’ detail into every scrap of the page. This book did this. Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher did this. Even Neil Gaiman does this, but I can forgive him because he’s Neil Gaiman and if anyone was going to pull off this style, it would be him. There’s really a fine line between detailed and so many freakin’ details I want to take my pen and cross out half the page. Why do you need all the “Hullos” “How Are” “What Are You Eating?”. You really, really just do not need it.
The premise was cool though. That’s about the only thing I enjoyed.
The edition I read was the one with Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess on it. I could totally see Anne as Emma though in my head I kept hearing the rough and tumble voice of Fiona, Emmy Rossum’s character on Shameless. Emmy also resembles Anne quite a bit so it was just all sorts of confusing. I do think Jim Sturgess would make the perfect Dexter except now I don’t ever want to watch the movie.