Twenty Years, Two People, One Day

One day… And a story begins. With these two words heaps of story are born and this one’s no different; but the book entitled One Day written by David Nicholls does not start with these words but the story itself revolves around one day: June 15, St. Swithin’s Day.

I was browsing the local bookstore when I was out of  town for work back in the summer when something caught my eye. The hardbound was displayed prominently at the back of the cashier’s counter. The cover has two orange profiles, a man and a woman. My curiosity caught me faster than a speeding a bullet. I wanted to buy it at that moment, without the knowledge of how the story will go, if it was a bestseller or even who wrote it. I felt a really powerful force urging me to buy the book (I think it’s just the compulsive buyer in me) and so without a fuss, I did. Well, not the hardbound but just the paperback edition. As soon as I’m out of the bookstore I tore open the packaging which holds my newly bought book and scrutinized it. I read the words written at the back and it says: “Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways. So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that? And every year that follows? Twenty years, two people, one day.” I was totally hooked! Who wouldn’t be after reading that?

One Day by David Nicholls

One Day by David Nicholls, 2010 - image courtesy of

One Day is a novel that makes you wish that you were the genius behind those beautiful written words that made the book so lovable. It has an endless supply of notable humor, unforgettable and crazy easy-to-fall in-love-with characters, outstanding witty dialogues and a superb style of writing. It is a story of Emma Morley, a smart working-class girl with a sharp tongue that’s always ready to deliver witty one-liners and Dexter Mayhew, a rich, handsome, vain “bourgeois” who “wanted to live life in such a way that if a photograph were taken at random, it would be a cool photograph”. They met at the last day of their studenthood, the day of their graduation at the University of Edinburgh. It was June 15, 1998. The story spans for twenty years and the reader can to peek into their lives every year for just “one day”-the anniversary of their meeting, every June 15: that same fateful St. Swithin’s Day. Dexter and Emma are an odd, strange couple; however, despite their obvious differences and the fact that they are opposites, you’ll know that they are made for each other. So every year, as you read, you’ll expect them to be; but, before long, you’ll learn, one St. Swithin’s Day after another, that time will not be kind to them. Dex will stumble into success quite easily but Em will struggle for a long while and you will see them in their highs and lows where they are always separate and seldom together and discover how much their lives are changing.

The time that I was reading it, I wished that my mind read faster so I can be “one day” closer to the happy ending that I am expecting.  At the start of the story one may think that it’s a typical love story where boy meets girl, girl becomes boy’s best friend, and they got hitched at the end and they lived happily ever after. But it’s not; because nothing is typical and predictable in this story. I’m a sucker for happy endings but I’m making an exemption for this one. The story ends beautifully but in an unexpected way.

This extraordinary love story left me feeling in-love, blissful, forlorn (at the same time), touched, in awe and with a slew of notes of bits of wisdom from the highly creative mind of David Nicholls.

Twenty years, two people, one day.

One Day movie poster. Image from

There will be a film adaptation of One Day that will be out in July this year, starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. It will be directed by Lone Scherfig (An Education); and to make it more awesome, David Nicholls, the author of the book, wrote the screenplay. I’m sure that the film will be as good as the book. I can’t wait to see it.

This book is euphoria, bittersweet love, overflowing humor and a dash of sadness thrown in altogether. I am in-love with this book. Read it (before the movie comes out!), I’m betting that you will be, too.

“You can live your whole life not realizing that what you’re looking for is right in front of you.”


3 responses to “Twenty Years, Two People, One Day

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Twenty Years, Two People, One Day « Extra Kanin from outer space! --·

  2. What’s astonishing with this book is the idea of writing it based on a single day for every year. So readers are reading 20 days of their lives (if I get it right) and get hooked at, where, the first couple of it? Cool! ^_^

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