I originally saw the Lone Scherfig adaptation of 'One Day' (Anne Hathaway) when the film came out in 2011. Having watched it with my parents and enjoyed it, I was nothing less than intrigued when I came across the actual book, published in 2009.
David Nicholls brings the two central characters, Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew, to life through clever description and dialogue that is simultaneously absorbing and neorealistic.
As a modern classic, and I would count it as one, it is, as most are, infinitely more comprehensive and effective than the film. And reviewers at the time seem to agree. The Guardian classed it as 'fantastic Labour boom-years comedy'. Yes, it is evocative of the 90s culture in which the majority of the text is set, but I believe it is bigger than mere 'comedy'. Nick Hornby is quoted on the cover as describing it as 'Big, Absorbing, Smart'. I largely agree. It is only when you come towards the end of the book that you come to appreciate its 'bigness'. Following the main characters journey from late-teens university students to late-thirties, and charting the many trials and tribulations in between, 'One Day' reflects not only on the process of coming of age but on the idea 'you can live your whole life not realising that what you're looking for is right in front of you'. Through the story of friendship and love that occurs between the protagonists, Nicholls weaves a story that resonates with most readers. You may find that this classic does indeed 'stay with you long after you finish reading', as you are called to consider what you might be missing right under your nose.
Carpe Diem xx