Here we are, friends… down to the final hours of 2018. And in the earliest hours of today, December 31st, I finally hit my Goodreads goal for the year!
I’d been trying to think of the perfect book on which to end this crazy year… then a few days ago, it came to me. There was one book that nearly everyone else had read already. It had been hyped like crazy, being offered as a Book of the Month selection, and featured by Reese Witherspoon in her Hello Sunshine Book Club! And honestly, what better month to read a book with the word “December” in the title? So the choice was simple: my last book of 2018 would be Josie Silver’s One Day in December!
Here’s a quick overview of the 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.
I have to say, I picked up this book expecting a fun, slightly agonizing love triangle with some quirky young people. On the surface, sure, that’s what it is. But it’s so much more.
One Day in December follows the lives of our main characters over nearly a decade, and it explores not only each of their characters quite well, but also all of their relationships with one another. We see Laurie go from a carefree girl just out of college, to a thirty-year-old who has to come to terms with some hard truths. We see how timing can change the entire course of a journey. And we see what can happen when you don’t admit your real feelings, sometimes even to yourself.
While the book is a romance, it’s also a study of the friendship of two women. In this regard, though the two storylines are very different, it reminded me a little of Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah. The themes are similar… how do friendships survive over time with distance, differences, and betrayals? Laurie and Sarah had a relationship that was close and delightfully in sync… until it wasn’t. Their story explored themes of trust, growth, and forgiveness, and I found it to be just as important as the romantic entanglements in the book.
And as for those romantic entanglements? Well, I wouldn’t go into this expecting a quick happily ever after. I won’t tell you who everyone ends up with at the close of the story. But rest assured, it’s a long and winding path to get there. Hearts are broken, relationships are tested, and everyone is a very different person from who they were in those first few pages.
“You tread lightly through life, but you leave deep footprints that are hard for other people to fill.”
One of the things I enjoyed about the structure of this book was that it was dated and divided by time period, with one touchpoint always being Laurie’s New Year’s Resolutions. I hadn’t known that going in, but it really made for a delightful way to see her growth over the years, plus it made this the perfect book to read as the calendar flips over to a new year.
If you haven’t picked up this gem, I’d recommend you add it to your list. In fact, if you’re staying in for New Year’s, make a quick e-book purchase… it’d be a perfect read for a night in! Big night on the town planned? Grab the book anyway… you’ll want something perfect for a quiet day curled up on the sofa tomorrow. (Oh, just get it anyway… I promise you’ll want to read it soon regardless of your plans or the date on the calendar!)
Get One Day in December:
One Day in December is endearing, heartbreaking, and satisfying. I give it five stars full of big feelings! Have you read this one? What did you think?
If you’re looking to add to your reading list in 2019, click back and look at my other Book Notes posts over the past few months. Or, check out my Happy Bookish New Year Tag for a sneak peek at what I’ll be reading in the coming year.
I’m so grateful to have you all on this journey with me. Thank you for hanging out here… I look forward to sharing 2019 with you! Happy reading!
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