After a one-night stand in Edinburgh on the night of their graduation in 1988, Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew go their separate ways. One Daytraces their relationship over the course of two decades, with each chapter providing a snapshot of their lives on July 15th every year.
Nicholls’ novel is a tumultuous love story of chance encounters, missed opportunities, unsent letters, failed relationships, travel, amateur theatre and Mexican restaurants, as the once-hopeful university students become increasingly disillusioned with getting older. Nicholls draws on his own experiences of living in Edinburgh and London to paint the perfect backdrop for Emma and Dexter’s story, interweaving details of both cities throughout the novel.
Filled with humour and heartbreak, Nicholls’ gorgeous novel impels the reader to reflect on their own aspirations and outcomes, and begs the question, ‘Do we change or stay the same?’.
One Day was a thoroughly enjoyable read, and I am definitely interested in delving into David Nicholls’ back catalogue as well as his upcoming release.