One Day (movie Tie-in Edition)

by David Nicholls

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group | May 24, 2011 | Trade Paperback

One Day (movie Tie-in Edition) is rated 2.8889 out of 5 by 9.
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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 448 pages, 7.99 × 5.15 × 0.94 in

Published: May 24, 2011

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307946711

ISBN - 13: 9780307946713

Found in: Fiction

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of favourite books! This book is wonderful! Emma and Dexter, the characters are complicated, you fall in love with them. As you read more the plot expends and you understand them more. I love Emma, the ending was a bit hard, I cried! The author is amazing, I’m on his third novel and this one is the best one! If you care for love stories, then this is a book for you!
Date published: 2012-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 'When Harry Met Sally,' with a shot of reality I was actually surprised to see all of the negative reviews. In my opinion, this is an amazing book--so layered and so touching, at its heart it's really about two people--one friendship, one love--and the ways in which it changes, and remains unchanged, over time. The concept of revisiting these characters one day a year, over a span of many years, makes for an incredibly interesting read. And although the ending is bittersweet (without giving too much away), it is strangely and utterly satisfying. Just through reading this book, I can tell that this was truly a labour of love for the author. It is both beautifully and thoughtfully written the whole way through, up to the very end. There are times when you will laugh, cry, roll your eyes and find yourself completely gripped with anticipation. You may not completely relate to, or understand the bond between Emily and Dexter, but you will grow to care very deeply about it. All and all it is probably one of the best books I have ever read. It is definitely not chick lit, or pure romance--it is a straight, honest and realistically complex story about people and the impact they have on each others lives.
Date published: 2012-01-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from HMMM I enjoyed this book. It is refreshing reading a book that does not follow a normal pattern I find the bouncing around and empty gaps of time makes you think as a reader. I loved the characters and felt they were believable rather then a love story that is only for the movies or in books it was real. As much as I enjoyed the book I was not fond on how the author killed Emma's character!
Date published: 2011-11-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Rotten Format, Unrelatable Characters and Bad Ending... This book was a strange one. While I liked the storylines between the characters, they themselves weren't developed all that well. And how could they be, based on this books format? This book jumps to the same time each year (or years) in the two main characters lives. I found this frustrating as a reader. What happened in-between? How did they get to where they are now? Some of this couple's major life events are told in a couple of sentences in a 'flashback' of sorts, rather than in real time. I also couldn't relate to the main characters AT ALL. It just seemed ridiculous that someone like Emma would put up with Dex's BS for all those years and not just move on. Dex himself was probably more relatable, but at times I found his actions inconsistent when based on what little we learn about him in the writers annual snippets. I found myself skimming a lot of this book and not caring how it ended. That's how you can tell you just read a bad book... :(
Date published: 2011-11-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Easy Romantic Read I thought this was a fun book to read. It's a love story, but I personally don't think that it's your typical romance novel. Many things surprised me (which I wasn't a fan of!), but overall, being in a relationship myself, I enjoyed it.
Date published: 2011-09-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Worst book ever. I didn't get it. It was poorly written, extremely difficult to follow and uninspiring. I haven't seen the movie but it has got to be better than this trash.
Date published: 2011-09-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Touching After reading the reviews below, I'm shocked about the negative response this book has received. It is not horrible as the reviews below have said, and is surprisingly better than I thought it would be. The book is full of comedy and humor, but below that lies a passionate romance that does not always go the way as planned. Snapshots of the two characters, Emma and Dexter, are given in each chapter on the same day for two decades. You can see how they've progressed in each year and how their relationship changes every single time. From friends, to more than friends, to confidants, to lovers, to enemies, their bond is constantly shifting, just as it does in reality. What I found enjoyable about this book was that the characters were continually growing and imperfect. Every single day there's lessons to be learned, mistakes to be made. The author captures human desires, hopes and emotions so accurately, it makes you consider yourself and the future. Though I do agree that the ending was not the best, the novel is still great and if your into romance, you should definitely pick this up. If your not, give it a try anyway, you might like it.
Date published: 2011-08-23
Rated 1 out of 5 by from So Boring Okay so I don't have much to say about this book except that it SUCKED sorry if that seems a bit dramatic but I felt like I was getting tortured at times when I had to read this book. I did not like the story it dragged on in so many areas and I swear if I could have gone in to the book I would have strangled both of the characters they were both really annoying and they both acted stupid half of the time. The ending of this book was also really horrible I won't spoil but really it just made the book worse than it was. Overall really bad book I would not recommend it but I know there are some people out there that really liked this book but I was not one of them. :0)
Date published: 2011-08-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Absolute Trash This story is absolute foolishness, lacking the most basic ingredient of any story: credibility. This is the story of an alcoholic trying to play one of the main characters in a love story. Added to that is the story of a girl/woman who wants to be in love with an alcoholic because she has a penchant for self-destruction. The author could have picked up the story at the corner bar. The only thing good about this book is the cover design.
Date published: 2011-08-05

– More About This Product –

One Day (movie Tie-in Edition)

by David Nicholls

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 448 pages, 7.99 × 5.15 × 0.94 in

Published: May 24, 2011

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307946711

ISBN - 13: 9780307946713

About the Book

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.

Read from the Book

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
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From the Publisher

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.

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 and One Day. He lives in London. 

Editorial Reviews

"[An] instant classic. . . . One of the most hilarious and emotionally riveting love stories you’ll ever encounter." — People “Big, absorbing, smart, fantastically readable." —Nick Hornby, from his blog   "[Nicholls] has a gift for zeitgeist description and emotional empathy that''s wholly his own. . . . [A] light but surprisingly deep romance so thoroughly satisfying." — Entertainment Weekly “Nicholls offers sharp dialogue and wry insight that sounds like Nick Hornby at his best.” — The Daily Beast (A Best Book of the Summer) “[ One Day ] will leave you hungrily eating up the words. At times, you will experience ‘can''t breathe’ laughter, then ‘publicly embarrassing’ sobs. Whatever emotion, all will feel uncontrollable; precisely like the lives of the characters you so badly want to see end up together.” –  Seattle Post Intelligencer "Fluid, expertly paced, highly observed, and at times, both funny and moving." — Boston Globe "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." — New York Times Book Review "Who doesn’t relish a love story with the right amount of heart-melting romance, disappoin
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Bookclub Guide


1. To what extent do Emma’s thoughts and assumptions about Dexter [pp. 5-6] and Dexter’s sketch of Emma  [pp. 8-9] rely on facile stereotypes they each harbor?  In what ways do they embody more measured reflections? How accurate are their assessments? Does their initial encounter make the reader more sympathetic to one of the characters? In what ways might the reader’s gender, experiences, and prejudices affect their feelings about Emma and Dexter? 

2. What determines the path Emma follows in her post-university years? In addition to being a wonderfully comic interlude, how does her stint with Sledgehammer Theater Cooperative enrich the portrait of the time in which the novel is set? Is Emma’s explanation of why she ended up working at the tacky Mexican restaurant—“there was a recession on and people were clinging to their jobs. . . . the government had ended student grants” [p. 56]—honest? Have circumstances and “the city defeated her” or is she responsible for her own plight?

3. In his unsent letter Dexter writes, “I think you’re scared of being happy. . . . that you actually get a kick out of being disappointed and under-achieving, because it’s easier. . . .”[p. 42]. How do Dexter’s insights into Emma compare to her own? Is he more perceptive about her than he is about himself? Does Emma underestimate her talents and potential? Despite its carefree tone, does Dexter’s letter betray certain doubts or misgivings about himself?

4. Does Dexter’s meteoric rise in television change the fundamental dynamics between Dexter and Emma? What aspects of their relationship remain unchanged? What influences the things they say and, perhaps more importantly, what they don’t say, during their afternoon on Primrose Hill [p. 60-72]? Were you surprised to find them vacationing together in Greece the following year? Who is more aware of—and affected by—the sexual tensions and temptations they both experience?

5. Is Dexter’s idle vision of his future [p. 9] realized during “the late twenties” (chapters six through nine)?  In what ways is the actuality of his life an ironic comment on his expectations? Does he act in ways that undermine his happiness?  Discuss, for example, his visit to his parents [pp. 120-135]; his humiliating debut on Late-Night Lock-In [pp. 176-7]; his hostile, crude manner at dinner with Emma [pp. 205-210]; and his glib excuses and rationalizations for his actions [p.190]. What glimpses are there of his more vulnerable side? Do they make him a more appealing character?

6. “At twenty-seven, Emma wonders if she is getting old” [p. 115]. Do Emma’s feelings about both the satisfactions and regrets that come with being “grown-up” ring true? What explains Emma’s relationship with Ian? Is she willingly deceiving herself (and Ian)? Despite her impatience with him and his desperately unfunny comedy routines, does she have genuine feelings for Ian?

7. At the disastrous dinner on July 15, 1995, Emma declares, “Dexter, I love you so much. . . . and I probably always will. I just don’t like you any more. I’m sorry” [p. 210]. Does Dexter recognize why his behavior leads to this break? Does he care? Could the dinner have ended differently? 

8. Compare Dexter’s reaction to his agent’s report on how he is perceived [pp. 240, 243] and Emma’s reaction to her unsuccessful interview with a publishing executive [p. 245]. What do they reveal how each of them approaches life’s ups-and-downs?

9. “Now that she was actually involved in an affair—its paraphernalia of secret looks, hands held under tables, fondles in the stationery cupboard—she was surprised at how familiar it all was, and what a potent emotion lust could be, when combined with guilt and self-loathing” [p. 221]. What does the affair with Mr. Godalming reflect about Emma’s state of mind as she approaches her mid-thirties? What satisfaction does it give her? To what extent is she influenced by the romantic notions and expectations society imposes on unmarried women?

10. When he meets Sylvie Cope, Dexter thinks, “And yet, despite all this, the downturn in professional fortunes, he is fine now, because he has fallen in love with Sylvie, beautiful Sylvie. . . .” [p. 251]. In what ways does the affair open Dexter’s eyes to new possibilities and a different way of life? What flaws in their relationship does he fail to grasp fully and why?  What consequences does this have on the course of their marriage?

11. What is the significance of the wedding Dexter and Emma attend [p. 269-296]? What do they learn about themselves and each other that surprises, pleases, or unsettles them? What do their conversations [pp. 286, 290, 293, for example] represent in terms of their personal development as well as the evolution of their friendship? 

12. What does the rendezvous in Paris share with Emma and Dexter’s trip to Greece nine years earlier? What impact does Emma’s success as an author and Dexter’s failed marriage have on the “balance of power” between them? Discuss the factors—including age, their individual circumstances, and the length of their friendship—that contribute to their willingness to be more honest and open with each other.

13. Do Emma’s musings about where life has taken her [p. 381] resonate with you? What do Emma and Dexter at forty have in common with the people they were on graduation night? How does Nicholls simultaneously capture the ways people change and the persistence of individual characteristics through the passage of time?

14. What demands does the unusual structure of One Day make on the reader? Discuss how the yearlong gaps between chapters; the focus on sometimes-mundane happenings rather than “big” events; and the alternation between Dexter’s and Emma’s journeys within each section increase your curiosity and engagement with the novel.

15. Callum is casually mentioned as mutual friend in Chapter 2 [p. 21] and chapter 6 [p. 109] and Ian makes his first appearance simply as Emma’s co-worker in Chapter 3 [p. 37]; both will become significant figures.  What other secondary characters become more important than the protagonists—and the reader—anticipate? What do these “surprises” reflect about the way lives unfold?

16. What does One Day share with traditional boy-meets-girl stories you are familiar with from books or movies? What does it suggest about the relationship between love and happiness?

17. How well does the novel capture society and culture over the twenty-year period? What specific details (references to books, television programs, political events, etc.) help bring the different periods to life? In what ways do the characters embody the qualities, good and bad, of their generation?

18. Throughout the novel, Dexter and Emma withhold or suppress their feeling for one another. Is one of them more guilty of this and, if so, why? What role does fate (e.g. Dexter’s unsent letter, missed phone calls, etc.), along with the characters’ assumptions and misinterpretations, play in the plot? The final section of the novel is introduced with a quote from Tess of the D’Ubervilles and in the acknowledgments [p. 437] Nicholls says, “A debt is owed to Thomas Hardy.” If you are familiar with Tess or Hardy’s other novels, discuss how his works might have influenced Nicholls in writing One Day.

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