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One Day

by David Nicholls

No apologies for including David Nichollsí word-of-mouth best-seller. For those of you who havenít yet read ONE DAY, get yourself a copy and spend a thoroughly enjoyable few hours in the company of Emma and Dexter as they do that thing of not quite getting together over fifteen years.

Nicholls is also a screen-writer by trade and the discipline is evident in his masterly use of character and pace to keep us absorbed to the very last page. It is a fiendishly simple plot Ė Emma and Dexter get together on the night of their graduation, 15 July 1988, and are then parted by insecurity and circumstance. We are then given access to them on that one day, 15 July, every year and witness their separate lives panning out in very different ways: Emma as a politically-committed teacher; Dexter as an increasingly shallow TV presenter; and both in a series of unsuitable relationships.

Of course, it is a quick, easy, funny and very satisfying read but itís not a guilty pleasure. Should you need any justification for picking up a rom com, it is also a scathing indictment of the media industry, a sharp-eyed glance at British cultural life and a heartfelt cry of despair for the bemused generation who came to maturity in Thatcherís eighties.

ONE DAY won the 2010 Galaxy Book of the Year award. It has been chosen as one of the World Book Nightís books to give away.

Clare Chandler

Published by Hodder Paperbacks
448pp

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