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One Day

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One Day

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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...
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...
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Description-
  • 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.

    From the Trade Paperback edition.

Excerpts-
  • Chapter ONE

    'THE FUTURE'

    Friday 15TH July 1988
    Rankeillor Street, Edinburgh

    'I suppose the important thing is to make some sort of difference,' she said. 'You know, actually change something.'
    'What, like "change the world", you mean?'
    'Not the whole entire world. Just the little bit around you.'
    They lay in silence for a moment, bodies curled around each other in the single bed, then both began to laugh in low, pre-dawn voices. 'Can't believe I just said that,' she groaned. 'Sounds a bit corny, doesn't it?'
    'A bit corny.'
    'I'm trying to be inspiring! I'm trying to lift your grubby soul for the great adventure that lies ahead of you.' She turned to face him. 'Not that you need it. I expect you've got your future nicely mapped out, ta very much. Probably got a little flow-chart somewhere or something.'
    'Hardly.'
    'So what're you going to do then? What's the great plan?'
    'Well, my parents are going to pick up my stuff, dump it at theirs, then I'll spend a couple of days in their flat in London, see some friends. Then France-'
    'Very nice-'
    'Then China maybe, see what that's all about, then maybe onto India, travel around there for a bit-'
    'Traveling,' she sighed. 'So predictable.'
    'What's wrong with travelling?'
    'Avoiding reality more like.'
    'I think reality is over-rated,' he said in the hope that this might come across as dark and charismatic.
    She sniffed. 'S'alright, I suppose, for those who can afford it. Why not just say "I'm going on holiday for two years"? It's the same thing.'
    'Because travel broadens the mind,' he said, rising onto one elbow and kissing her.
    'Oh I think you're probably a bit too broad-minded as it is,' she said, turning her face away, for the moment at least. They settled again on the pillow. 'Anyway, I didn't mean what are you doing next month, I meant the future-future, when you're, I don't know...' She paused, as if conjuring up some fantastical idea, like a fifth dimension. '...Forty or something. What do you want to be when you're forty?'
    'Forty?' He too seemed to be struggling with the concept. 'Don't know. Am I allowed to say "rich"?'
    'Just so, so shallow.'
    'Alright then, "famous".' He began to nuzzle at her neck. 'Bit morbid, this, isn't it?'
    'It's not morbid, it's...exciting.'
    ' 'Exciting!' ' He was imitating her voice now, her soft Yorkshire accent, trying to make her sound daft. She got this a lot, posh boys doing funny voices, as if there was something unusual and quaint about an accent, and not for the first time she felt a reassuring shiver of dislike for him. She shrugged herself away until her back was pressed against the cool of the wall.
    'Yes, exciting. We're meant to be excited, aren't we? All those possibilities. It's like the Vice-Chancellor said, "the doors of opportunity flung wide..."'
    '"Yours are the names in tomorrow's newspapers..."'
    'Not very likely.'
    'So, what, are you excited then?'
    'Me? God no, I'm crapping myself.'
    'Me too. Christ...' He turned suddenly and reached for the cigarettes on the floor by the side of the bed, as if to steady his nerves. 'Forty years old. Forty. Fucking hell.'
    Smiling at his anxiety, she decided to make it worse. 'So what'll you be doing when you're forty?'
    He lit his cigarette thoughtfully. 'Well the thing is, Em-'
    '"Em"? Who's "Em"?'
    'People call you Em. I've heard them.'
    'Yeah, friends call me Em.'
    'So can I call you Em?'
    'Go on then, Dex.'
    'So I've given this whole...

About the Author-
  • David Nicholls trained as an actor before making the switch to writing. He is the author of two previous novels--Starter For Ten and The Understudy. He has also written many screenplays for film and television, including the feature film adaptation of Starter For Ten. He lives in London.

Reviews-
  • People

    "[An] instant classic. . . . One of the most hilarious and emotionally riveting love stories you'll ever encounter."

  • Nick Hornby, from his blog "Big, absorbing, smart, fantastically readable."
  • Entertainment Weekly "[Nicholls] has a gift for zeitgeist description and emotional empathy that's wholly his own. . . . [A] light but surprisingly deep romance so thoroughly satisfying."
  • The Daily Beast (A Best Book of the Summer) "Nicholls offers sharp dialogue and wry insight that sounds like Nick Hornby at his best."
  • Boston Globe "Fluid, expertly paced, highly observed, and at times, both funny and moving."
  • New York Times Book Review "Those of us susceptible to nostalgic reveries of youthful heartache and self-invention (which is to say, all of us) longed to get our hands on Nicholls's new novel. . . . And if you do, you may want to take care where you lay this book down. You may not be the only one who wants in on the answers."
  • Elle, Top 10 Summer Books for 2010 "Who doesn't relish a love story with the right amount of heart-melting romance, disappointment, regret, and huge doses of disenchantment about growing up and growing old between quarreling meant-to-be lovers?"
  • The Early Show [CBS] "A great, funny, and heart-breaking read."
  • Very Short List "Funny, sweet and completely engrossing . . . The friendship at the heart of this novel is best expressed within the pitch-perfect dialogue/banter between the two."
  • The Times (London) "A wonderful, wonderful book: wise, funny, perceptive, compassionate and often unbearably sad . . . the best British social novel since Jonathan Coe's What a Carve Up!. . . . Nicholls's witty prose has a transparency that brings Nick Hornby to mind: it melts as you read it so that you don't notice all the hard work that it's doing."
  • The Guardian (London) "Just as Nicholls has made full use of his central concept, so he has drawn on all his comic and literary gifts to produce a novel that is not only roaringly funny but also memorable, moving and, in its own unassuming, unpretentious way, rather profound."
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