One Day #alwaysreadingclub

So, I’m just going to blatantly use the lovely #alwaysreadingclub wonderfully created by my friend ZoeProse ( long time wordpress buddy!) to get myself back into the swing of blogging as I have neglected you, as usual.

The first book for the online Book Club was David Nicholls’ 2009 novel ‘One Day.’ I reckon I did read it the year it came out. But I couldn’t find my copy! And I’m surprised I didn’t blog about it actually. It has always kind of stuck in my head so I was happy to give it a reread. I got a sun bleached second-hand copy online that took ages to arrive so I finally finished the April choice on May the 4th.

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For those not familiar. (It’s a film now too!)

15th July 1988. Emma and Dexter meet on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways.

So where will they be on this one day next year?

And every year that follows?

I suppose it’s a long kind of dragged out romance, and the original bit is that it mostly just concentrates on one day for 19 years.

The main characters Emma Morely and Dexter Mayhew ‘Em and Dex. Dex and Em’ are complicated and frustrating at times. They have so many near misses.

Dexter is sometimes hard to relate to as he becomes a TV presenter, he is a womanizer, he can be loud and cruel and drinks too much.

Emma although she doesn’t always say what she means, can be stubborn. But I could really relate to her pining to be a writer but being stuck in a dead-end job and there’s this awful bit where she’s been working in a Tex Mex restaurant and she hates it, and she gets offered the manager job and she’s crying in the office. I would do the exact same!

There is a lot of reality in there. The story never goes how you hope it will. And yet what a connection.

I thought it was brilliant on not-quite-right relationships.  Emma and Ian would break your heart!

I loved the connection to Edinburgh and Rankeillor Street, as that’s where they graduated from and where the story begins and ends.

*SPOILER* The twist is a bit shocking, and so devastating really. I cried finishing it today, not at the event but the anniversaries and aftermath. And the way the final chapter is split between then and now and the very end of the book is the very beginning of Emma and Dexter.

It’s nice how Dexter’s relationship with his daughter develops. Especially at the end. It’s even kind of reassuring the inevitability of Dexter going out with Maddy the manager of his store, after the worst happens. I really loved Ian’s letter to Dexter in 2005. About how special Emma was.

It can be difficult and frustrating at times. They don’t treat eachother very well and there’s too much pining! My friend pointed out that it’s obviously written by a man at some points, maybe observation and descriptions. However, there’s a lot to be learned about life and love in this book. Maybe how people don’t really change, but can still light each other up.

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Send Some Happy : Love Letters

Send some happy is a blog collaboration with Zoe at Zoeprose and me and really just a way to encourage us all to send more happy post! Be on the look out for encouragements to write snail mail, pen pal letters, postcards, parcels and all sorts of surprises the old fashioned way. Join in by using the hashtag #sendsomehappy and be a part of the snail mail loving community!

In the last few hours of February, (perhaps a month of love?)  late on my blog posting as usual, I’d like to reflect on love letters. In many ways, any handwritten, personal letter with news and good wishes is a love letter. Love letters can be non-romantic, or gushy as you please.

Traditional love letters, for me, conjure images of lovers who have been separated by many miles, in an age long before there were mobile phones or Skype. For some reason war seems prominent; the soldier reading his love’s words greedily by candle light.

I remember having a conversation with my mum about letters years ago, and she said the best thing about them is that they can be kept, and brought out to be read again and again, especially when someone is far from home.  I suppose in that case a letter was literally a little piece of home. Knowing this paper was held by someone you love and the words were formed by a hand that held yours perhaps long ago. A spray of perfume or a smudge of lipstick could increase the romance, and raise a smile of familiarity.

Photo from Sweetapolita
Photo from Sweetapolita

Recently I was directed towards this great article from Buzzfeed: 15 Tips for Writing an Amazing Love Letter. I don’t agree with 100% of it, and I wish they had included the text for some of the harder-to-read letters! But I do believe that everyone can benefit from receiving (or writing) a love letter.

My boyfriend (who’s still nice and new 😉 ) has been forced to give up a shoebox to store all the notes, cards and letters I post him, and/or hide in his room. Being the writer-y type I know he appreciates them. But even the hardest man in Derry couldn’t help smiling at a little note from his girl to say how much she loves him!

There’s something about seeing your other half’s handwriting express, however awkwardly their feelings for you, that just melts your heart. Love letters: for anyone who loves. I’d say mothers would very much appreciate a letter of love. As would a best friend who may be having a tough time, or a sibling who you haven’t seen in much too long.

To quote the Buzzfeed article: “People love to know how loved they are,” Samara O’Shea, author of For the Love of Letters: A 21-st Century Guide to the Art of Letter Writing. And that desire is timeless. O’Shea says a love letter is “what will last, what will be remembered.”

To finish: my #sendsomehappy challenge this time is for you to send a little love letter to someone who means a lot to you. It will make you and them happy inside and maybe it will become a tradition ! Did you ever receive a beautiful love letter? 

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