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One Day in December by Josie Silver
My heart nearly stopped beating, I cried and I might have had a mild panic attack once or twice while reading this book. Not bad One Day in December, not bad.
I’ve had my eye on this one for a while, and as Reese’s Book Club pick I knew it would be good, but whew! This is definitely going on my read again list for sure. (ok…I may have actually already re-read most of it). It’s the kind of book you want to go back and reread passages over again to let them sink in. The phrasings are thought provoking, interesting and sometimes just so heartfelt you need them to wash over you again and again.
So, what’s it about? It’s about a young man and woman whose eyes meet one December day when she’s on the bus and he’s at the bus stop. The instant attraction they feel is powerful. But, the bus pulls away, leaving him behind. For the next year the woman, Laurie, looks for her “bus boy” everywhere and doesn’t see him again. Until the next Christmas when he shows up at her house as the new boyfriend of her best friend and flatmate Sarah. (Insert knife in heart!)
What follows is 9 years of Jack, Laurie and Sarah’s relationships–with each other, with others, and their families as they navigate their 20s with new jobs, grief, tragedy and love.
Here’s the official summary:
Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story.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 of the things I love the most is that Josie is able to create a romantic story about love and friendship and growing up that’s so rooted in reality. She doesn’t invent crazy situations just to see what her character will do. They’re like real people. Their decisions and paths follow a sometimes tragic, sometimes wonderful path that feels real. Things don’t always go the way we think they will. Life is full of the unexpected, and finding your way isn’t always easy.
I also love that it had me examining my relationships with those I love as well–girl friends, family, my husband, in a way that I hadn’t before. One strand of conversation between Sarah and Laurie when they’re talking about where their place is in the world is this: “Your place isn’t somewhere, it’s someone.” I LOVE that line. I’d never thought of it like that before, but it’s so true. When you’re with the right person, you’ll go anywhere they are, just to be with them. Life takes unexpected twists and turns, and as we get older our world expands more and more. Friendships can be tested by events or by miles, but it doesn’t mean they have to break.
I sincerely cared about these characters, and even though I’d read the summary and had an idea of where it would end, I had no idea what would happen in the middle. I stayed up very late to get to the end, and I was not disappointed.
Nothing. There is nothing bad. Is it a perfect book? No. Was everything written the way I’d write it (or wished it was written? No. Usually it was little things that I wish had been more, or phrased in a bit of a different way.
Are there some things that don’t make total sense? Yes. A few. But this is fiction people. That’s the point. It’s not EXACTLY like real life. But it did feel pretty close.
I heart this book. It is a romance that doesn’t use graphic sex as a way of making it sound grown up. It could be a YA, but the characters are adults and have adult choices and decisions to make–which is so refreshing.
Read this book if you like modern romance, stories about friendship and the journey we take along the way.
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