One Day in December by Josie Silver
Publishing Date: 18th October 2018
Source: Received from the publisher, thank you!
Number of pages: 432
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction
A love story about what happens after you meet, or rather, don’t meet the one.
Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away.
Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.
What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.
One Day in December, a boy meets a girl and a girl meets a boy… They fell in love and have their happily ever after. No? No! They meet but don’t meet. Laurie is on a bus home from work. He’s on the bench at the bus stop. Their eyes meet and there is this magical sparkle, this connection, almost like love at the first sight. But then the bus door closes and it drives away into the night.Laurie looks after the mysterious boy from the bus stop for a year. And then she finds him! His name is Jack and he’s a new boyfriend of Laurie’s best friend Sarah.What do you do in this situation? Tell your friend? Or try to eject all your feelings and live the next decade full of missed opportunities?
Although I’m not a great fan of cinema I’ve seen a few classic films, like “Sleepless in Seattle”, “Nothing Hill”, “When Harry Met Sally”, “You’ve Got Mail”, to name a few, and as a huge bookworm I’ve read some great books, such as the Lou Clark series by Jojo Moyes or “PS. I Love You”, and guys, “One Day in December” is the perfect mix of all of them. It perfectly combines and blends the magical moments, the moments that made you go “wow” when watching and reading. And it’s full of such magical and wow occassions of it’s own, bringing to us new characters that we’re going to talk about for a long, long time and, actually, never forget. But what makes this book even better is the fact that it’s challenging, it’s not fairy – tale – ish but it’s realistic and down to earth.It follows the lives of the characters over the course of ten years, skipping periods of time and jumping forwards, sometimes few weeks, sometimes months, and I must say that it was a brilliant idea – writing it like this made the book’s pace faster, and I really liked how it focused on things that were truly significant, without leaving out the details but still focusing on the most significant events and things.
The friendship between Laurie and Sarah was gorgeous. I liked Laurie from the very beginning, but I actually was falling in love with her with every page that I’ve read, seeing how much she’s able to sacrifice in the name of friendship. This closeness covered so many years, it was the real kind, when you don’t see each other for few weeks and when you do you just start where you’ve finished, where you understand each other without words, where you’d do anything for the other person. It was real, genuine and honest. It was so incredibly easy to immediately become invested in their lives.As much as the tale is told from Laurie’s point of view, it also included chapters told from Jack’s perspective. And Jack, oh Jack… It really broke my heart more than once to see how he tried to make himself invisible and unimportant, how much he was also able to sacrifice and how much it was breaking him.
My biggest problem with this story though was – it bothered me all the time, since I’ve finished reading it some time ago to this moment – that even though I loved it, and I fell for the characters, and I WANTED them to be together, I couldn’t feel the chemistry between them, didn’t see the sparkle! Their relationship missed it, no matter how much the author tried to convince me that they’re destined to be together, that they’re a perfect much. For me it was clear they’re perfect match, it was clear that they loved each other so much but still, this electricity between them was missing. And the end – even though extremely romantic and gorgeous – did seem too abrupt for my liking – after spending so much time avoiding each other and making excuses it only takes a chapter to solve the problem.
This book was brilliantly written, and I don’t only mean the writing style. The author has so vividly and beautifully described the feelings and all the emotions were palpable through the pages – it was so powerful and overwhelming. It was easy, uplifting and poignant read and it had it all: beautiful friendship, unconditional love, brilliant characters, unfavourable in – laws, all the ups and downs of being young and falling in love and getting older and realising that life is not always a bed of roses. However, those elements could also be perceived as clichés. I’d also love some of the characters to be better developed, as they felt too stereotyped, too black and white, and some events happening too conventionally, just helping the plot to continue. You could also see the end coming already at the beginning of the book, but the execution and the way to this end was what absolutely fantastically worked for me and I simply loved this book. I could not only laugh and cry but I also closely felt the gut – wrenching pain, the despair of the characters, their resignation and desperation, and it can’t be easy to bring such feelings to the pages. Here Josie Silver has done and excellent job, pulling her readers into the story, making them fully invested in the characters’ lives. Of course it is also this kind of book that makes you ask yourself what would you do in this situation. Being Laurie, would you tell Sarah, taking into consideration this brilliant, honest friendship of theirs? Being Sarah, would you like to know? And if your answer is yes, what then? I didn’t find answers to these questions.
“One Day in December” was totally different to other books, refreshing, unique and addictive – you just have to know how it all is going to end! It was touching, moving and affecting, and I really often found myself holding my breath – at life being a bitch, at the unfairness of it, at the bad luck and especially at the beautifully captured feelings and emotions. It was not your usual boy meets girl, girl meets boy story, it was a love story with a difference, full of challenges and obstacles on the way and even though you could feel with your whole being how it’s going to end – or at least you want to end it in THIS way – you really don’t know, till the last moment, how it’s going to happen. I liked it that way, as I liked my books to give me all kind of emotions, and it doesn’t happen often that I can feel butterflies in my belly. A gorgeous story about love and loss, about friendship and relationships that is so much more than your usual love story, about falling in love and staying in love against all odds; about second chances, missed opportunities, about trust and about what ifs, regarding the question of all times: can love really conquer everything? Highly recommended!
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