Dexter and Emma. Em and Dex. One day, each year for twenty years, is detailed in the lives of a young British couple. Who knows what the future will bring? Infatuation, sex, love, loss, heartache, poverty, wealth, marriage, divorce, fame, notoriety, anything is possible. While reading this book, you become so close to the characters that you want to reach out and point them in the right direction. Speak up and say no, that's not a good choice. You're not going the best way. Yes, you're on the right path. Keep it up. Some of the characters, like Emma, are lovable. The kind of people you would want to have as friends. Others, like Dexter are less respectable. It is hard to tell at first, what anyone sees in them. This is where the book shines. Like life, it gradually gives us incites into characters and in so doing, makes us feel something about them. It may be good or bad. Whether we gradually change our mind about someone or find our first impression was correct. In the end, we care about these people. At times I caught myself thinking, why am I reading this book? It's just about the lives of some basically ordinary people. Then I would pick it back up to see down what paths the future would lead these seemingly ordinary people.
Laugh out loud, Cry out loud....Fun, Complex and Thought Provoking
I absolutely loved this novel about two people who deny their true feelings for one another because of the differences between them. Watching these characters unfold - on the same day - over the course of 20 years is brilliant. I found myself thinking about Emma and Dexter - and the sincere love they shared - for days and days after I finished the book. This is a truly heartwarming, true-to-life scenario of two people - leading different lives - who complete each other in every sense. Love is blind in many ways - and this book walks you through the tragic blindness of two people who madly need and love each other but reciprocally admit and appreciate it far too late......
A MUST read....for anyone who has truly been in love - timing right or wrong. This is a beautifully written book that will make you laugh heartily and will heavily pull at your heart strings - Kudos, Mr. Nicholls!!!
I liked the concept of this novel, but didn't think it always worked. I found myself sometimes going back to previous chapters to remember what had happened and was occasionally confused. The characters are, as others here have pointed out, fairly unlikeable throughout most of the book, especially Dexter. I borrowed this book from a friend and in discussion of it, we both commented that it seems like over 20 years both characters would have learned something about themselves and how to deal with life and their relationships. It seems like the book is being advertised as a light-hearted humorous story and it really isn't most of the time, unless you are amused by alcoholism and stupidity. There were funny moments, but it isn't what I would characterize as light in the way that most "chick-lit" type novels are. Dexter's drinking and drug-taking are depressing, and his skating through life on charm, as well as his astounding self-centeredness, makes me despise him. Emma never seems to learn how to experience joy and have some fun in life and her relationship with Ian is so sad.
What I did like in the book is the idea that one small action or moment can determine the course of a life. If Dexter had mailed the letter, what would have happened? There are other such questions at various points in the book. If their timing had been better could they have avoided some things or people? This to me is a very interesting proposition and it's what kept me reading. As I said above I did not find the characters particularly engaging, and I don't find alcoholism charming at all. Dexter's terrible night with his infant daughter made me shudder.
Additionally, I thought the ending was jarring and out of character with the rest of the book. It seemed like the author was trying a last-ditch effort to get the reader to care about the characters. It didn't work that way with me. I felt manipulated.
I'm not sure how they will do the movie of this book - maybe they will lighten it up a little so it can play as a romantic comedy, but I sure hope they can make it work because I can see this being a real disaster if they don't. Anne Hathaway is charming but I don't know if that is enough to make the story palatable.
I missed a subway stop because of this book. It's simply a treat to read. You find yourself rooting for these characters from the first page and the more time you spend with them, the more endearing they become. Nicholls is a terrifically talented writer who knows how to tell a great, funny, touching story, which is exactly what he's done in this book.
A truly wonderful book
I could not stop reading this book. Just beautiful. The book as whole is much better than it's concept alone (each chapter is a one day snapshot of Dexter & Emma on the same day each year for 20 years), so if you're hesitant have no fear. This isn't cheesy chick lit or predictable in any rom-com way. Just beautiful.
It?s 1988 and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley have only just met. 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.