Book Mini-Review: One Day in December by Josie Silver
“I’m a girl given to romance; Nora Ephron is my go-to answer for fantasy dinner party guest and I yearn to know if nice boys really do fucking kiss like that. You get the idea. I’m hoping that among all these frogs will one day come a prince. Or something like that.”
Ever since I heard One Day in December being advertised earlier this year, I was immediately intrigued. I have heard it billed as a mix between Love Actually (one of my absolute favorite movies) and One Day. I was really excited about it. Then Reese Witherspoon made Josie Silver’s debut novel her book club pick for December and it was one of the December BOTM picks, so I naturally needed to read it. Laurie’s rough day in December 2008 forever changes her life when she makes eye contact with a guy at a bus stop. They have an instant connection. She spends the next year of her life in love with “bus guy”. The following December, her best friend and roommate Sarah shows up to their house party with her new boyfriend Jack. Jack turns out to be bus guy. Both Laurie and Jack recognize each other, but don’t acknowledge their feelings. The rest of the book follows Laurie and Jack and the next decade navigating relationships, friendships, and life.
I enjoyed Laurie as a character and really liked Jack at the beginning, but good heavens, did these characters make some bad decisions. Almost everyone in this book made at least one bad decision that had me shaking my head. I don’t need to have likable characters, but for a book billed as a romance, I expected the two main characters to make better choices. I also don’t like love triangles, which was the majority of this book. I know things are messy in real life, but I had a hard time when Jack and Laurie purposefully put themselves in awkward situations. Yet I still liked how Laurie showed up for Jack after his accident and Jack was there for Laurie for her father’s first heart attack and then his death.
As I’ve said many times before, I love seeing female friendships as a major theme in books, and I adored Sarah and Laurie’s relationship; however fraught it was with lies, it still was the most important relationship in each of her lives. They met at university and lived together for four or five years, and even once they moved to other apartments, they still were best friends. They always had each other’s backs, and part of the reason Laurie doesn’t acknowledge her history with Jack to Sarah is because she values Sarah’s friendship so much and sees how happy Sarah is. Even in their lowest moments, Laurie and Sarah still love each other so much despite how much they’re hurting.
This was a quick and enjoyable read. If you are looking for something to read over the holidays, you should pick up One Day in December. I give it 3 stars.
What are some of your favorite holiday reads?